The 2010-2011 Playbook

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The 2010-2011 Playbook
The 2010-2011 Playbook
Developed by:
Playworks Program Staff
Playworks is a non-profit organization whose mission is to
improve the health and well-being of children by increasing
opportunities for physical activity and safe, meaningful play.
Table of Contents
Ice Breakers ……………………………………………………….. 4
Readiness Games………..…………………………………………. 29
Tag Games ………………………………………………………… 68
Cooperative Games ……………………………………………….. 106
Core Playground Games and Sports………………………………. 153
Core Games Modifications……………………………………….. 237
Health and Fitness: FitKid Program ……………………………… 238
Inside Games and Minute Moves …………………………………. 248
Peace Promotion Curriculum ……………………………………… 299
Five Fingers of Safety ……………………………………………... 310
Toolbar Codes
On the bottom of each game description there is a convenient toolbar so you can quickly identify games
that are Inclusive, Kindergarten Friendly, require No Equipment, are Rotational, and good for Transitions.
The last toolbar code refers to which developmental Level each game is classified.
I
K
NE
R
T
L3
Example Toolbar
Toolbar Key
I
Inclusive: A game that facilitates every student being able to participate.
K
Kindergarten: Games that are successful with Kindergarteners.
NE
No Equipment: Games that are played with no equipment.
R
Rotational Games: Games in which students rotate who is actively involved in the activity.
Some students are playing the game while others are waiting for their turn.
T
Transitional: Small, quick activities that allow for a fluid change in games, to create a line or
to travel from one place to another.
L
Level: Progressively identifies the developmental level of each game - Level 1, 2, or 3.
Ice Breakers
Ice breakers are an effective and fun way to begin building community among your students. The most
basic of these games help students familiarize themselves with each others’ names. Other games
encourage students to share information about themselves. These exchanges help students build
relationships with their classmates as they get to know each other. Participation in these ice breakers also
help students feel more comfortable engaging in further games and activities.
4
Ball Toss Race
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To combine physical and verbal skills to enhance awareness, learn everyone’s
name
Skills Practiced: Passing, catching, memory and verbal communication
Equipment Needed: One or more balls
Before You Start:
 Have the group get into a circle and have one or more balls ready.
How to Play:
 The leader will begin by throwing, rolling, or bouncing a ball (depending on the age and skill
level) to another player while saying the other person’s name loudly. Explain that it is very
important to remember who you have passed the ball to.
 Keep passing the ball around the circle so that everyone has received the ball one time. You can
have students sit down once they have received the ball, so make sure nobody gets it twice.
 When the last person gets the ball have them pass it back to you.
 Now without the ball, see if you can go around the circle and say in order the names of the people
you will pass to.
 Once students have that, try it with the ball and see how fast they can go.
Mid-point questions:
 Who has an idea for how to get the ball to everyone more quickly?
 What do you think about adding a second ball?
 Shall we time ourselves and then try to beat our time?
Closing questions:
 What do you think this game teaches? Is it fun?
 Can you think of anything that would make this game better?
Variations:
 To make the game more interesting you can add more balls and balls of different sizes.
 Catch and Throw Style (K-2)- Have the students form a circle around the leader. The leader can
then pass the ball to each player in the circle. When the student catches the ball everyone in the
class yells out that student’s name. Go around in a circle until everyone has a turn, then randomly
pass the ball and see how fast they can go.
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5
Bob the Bunny
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop observation skills and tactile development
Skills Practiced: Teamwork and keeping a rhythm
Equipment Needed: A small object, preferably a bunny
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Gather group of students in a circle. Have students place their hands behind their backs.
 Choose one student to be in the middle.
How to Play:
 The person in the middle is trying to guess who on the outside of the circle is holding the bunny.
 To begin, the person in the middle closes their eyes while the group begins chanting in rhythm,
“Bob the Bunny, Bob, Bob, the bunny!”
 As you are chanting start passing the bunny around the circle, keeping the bunny behind you.
 Once the bunny is in motion, the person in the middle opens their eyes. S/he gets 3 tries to guess
who is holding the bunny, the group is still chanting and passing the bunny.
 If the person in the middle guesses correctly they change places with who was caught holding the
bunny.
 If the person in the middle does not guess correctly within 3 tries s/he becomes part of the circle
and a new person is chosen to go in the middle.
Variations:
 Give students the opportunity to change the name of the character, ie. To incorporate school
mascot.
 Play with multiple bunnies.
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6
Evolution
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: 4th - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase social comfort and to improve non-verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group gather in a contained area.
 Explain the evolution of all life in our group goes in this order: First the egg, then the chicken, the
dinosaur, rock star, superhero.
 Each stage of evolution has a corresponding action – egg is low to the ground with hands over
their head, chicken walks like a chicken and clucks, dinosaur has arms outstretched like big jaws,
etc.
 Demonstrate clearly the different steps and order of evolution, including what to do if you win or
do not win Ro-Sham-Bo.
 Make sure that everyone knows how to play Ro-Sham-Bo.
 Remind players that they can only do Ro-Sham-Bo with someone who is at the same stage of
evolution, this encourages students to interact with many different people, not just their friends.
How to Play:
 Everyone begins as an egg.
 Players mix up, pair up and play Ro-Sham-Bo.
 The person who wins evolves to the next step, the person who did not win goes down a stage. If
the player is already an egg s/he remains an egg.
 Players pair up again, only with someone who is in the same stage of evolution.
 When a player evolves all the way to a superhero, s/he is finished and can fly around the area.
 Game Ends when all the players are also superheroes or when the time limit is up.
Variation:
 Allow players who lose Ro-Sham-Bo to remain at their current stage of evolution – this makes
the game go a little faster.
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7
Find Somebody Who
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goals: To share and learn about one another. To realize commonalities within groups.
Skills Practiced: Speaking and listening
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Gather the group in a contained area.
How to Play:
 Instructor begins by saying, “Find somebody who…” filling in the blank
 Options are endless. Here are a few:
 …has the same number of brothers and sisters as you,
 …shares the same favorite color as you,
 …was born in the same month as you, etc.
 Students must find a partner.
 As partners they are to decide who is side A and who is side B and then clasp hands in
the air so the leader knows they are ready.
 Instructor specifies a particular piece of information A and B are to share with each other.
 Options are endless. Here are a few:
 If you could be any animal what would it be and why?
 What is one thing you would change about the school to make it a better place?
 If you could have a magical power what would it be?
 How do you know somebody is being a good friend?
 After each person has had a chance to speak the instructor begins a second round of “Find
Somebody Who…”
 Three rounds is optimal.
Variations:
 Instead of having the shares be verbal shares, give group challenges (example- figure out how to
support each other’s weight with both partners balancing on one foot, do the C’Mon In and Sit
Down Game- see the Cooperative Games section).
 Lead them in partner stretches.
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8
Going on a Picnic
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To learn everyone’s name, memorization, spelling, sound and letter
recognition
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group seated in circle.
 Give an example of a food that begins with the same letters of your first name.
How to Play:
 Explain to the group that they are all going on a picnic together and are all responsible for
bringing a food item.
 Each person is to bring a food that begins with the first letter of their first name.
 Ask for a volunteer to go first. They are to say their name and what they are bringing to the
picnic.
 The next person, first introduces the person (and the person’s food choice) who just went then
her/himself and her/his food.
 The third person to go introduces the first two people and then himself and so on until everyone
has gone.
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Hi, My Name Is…
Group Size: 3-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To learn everyone’s name, increase social comfort
Skills Practiced: Public speaking
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Gather the group in a contained area. If played outside, lay out clear boundaries.
 Demonstrate the greetings with a volunteer.
 Make sure all students can repeat back to you greetings.
How to Play:
 At a given signal everyone goes around introducing themselves to one another. Students go up to
each other and they shake hands. Four exchanges happen while shaking hands:
1. The first person says, “Hi, my name is _________.”
2. The second person says, “Hi, my name is _____________”
3. The first person says, “Nice to meet you.” The second person repeats this back to his
partner.
4. The first person says, “See you later.” The second person says something similar in
response, “See ya!” or “Bye!”
 Once that four-part exchange happens the partners split up and find someone else to introduce
themselves to.
 Players go around trying to meet as many other players as possible in one minute.
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If You Really Knew Me
Group Size: 3-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To share and learn about one another, increase social comfort
Skills Practiced: Speaking and listening
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Gather group in a contained area.
 Demonstrate what one round will look like
 Lead a discussion about attentive listening before beginning the activity. Help students define
what “attentive listening” means and what it looks like. It is fully hearing what the other person is
saying without interrupting and not thinking about your own thing or how you want to respond
while being spoken to. It includes facing the person who is speaking, making eye contact,
nodding or other physical responses to what is being said, etc.
 Make sure students know if they are A or B.
How to Play:
 Group student in groups of two and decide who student A is and who is student B.
 Student A silently listens to student B for one minute (or shorter for younger groups).
 Student B finishes off the sentence, “If you really knew me, you would know that…” What is
being shared about themselves can range from
 family information- “If you really knew me you would know that I am the youngest of 4
siblings.”
 school information -“If you really knew me you would know that my favorite topic in
school is Art.”
 favorite/ least favorite things- “If you really knew me you would know that I hate
broccoli.”
 or anything else they want to share about themselves.
 Student B repeats this sentence over and over again completing it with a new piece of information
each time. After a minute the roles are reversed and student B listens while student A shares.
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11
I Love My Neighbor, Especially My Neighbor Who…
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To have students recognize commonalties within the group and to identify
personal characteristics
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: One less chair than the number of participants
Set-Up: Position chairs to form a circle
Before You Start:
 Make sure students understand the rules.
 Cue students to think about what they will say if they get to be in the middle.
 Briefly discuss awareness and review Ro-Sham-Bo in case there is a tie.
How to Play:
 The person standing in the center of the circle begins the game by saying “I love my neighbor
especially my neighbor who…”
 S/he completes the sentence with a piece of information that is true for him/her
 Example: “I love my neighbor, especially my neighbor who was born outside of
California, loves to play basketball, has a pet, is an only child, etc.”).
 As soon as s/he is finished with the statement everyone (including the person in the center) who
this applies to gets up from their chair and runs to an empty chair that is not right next to them.
 The person who remains standing begins a second round of the game.
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Jump Whistle
How Many Children Can Participate? 6-30
What Age Group is it For? K-5th grades
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: Gain greater spatial and movement awareness.
Skills Learned: Directions (Left / Right), Listening, Orientation.
Equipment Needed: Whistle
Set-Up: Any area, classroom, auditorium, or yard.
Description: Have all students face forward. Each time the Coach blows the whistle the children are to
jump one time towards the right (moving in a square, 4 jumps and they are back facing you). Two
whistles and their backs are to you, three whistles they are facing to your right. You can mix up the
whistles, one, two, three, two, one, three, two, or four. If a child is not facing the correct way he/she must
do 5 jumping jacks to rejoin the game.
How will you know if the children are ready to start? When students know the difference from Right
and Left and are clear that there are 4 sides to which they must jump.
Variations: Add a “reverse” command, so then they are jumping to the left.
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Line of Silence
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To help students see themselves in relationship to one another and improve nonverbal communication
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Gather the group in a contained area.
 Explain that this is a silent challenge.
 Demonstrate or brainstorm other ways to communicate without talking.
How to Play:
 Instruct students to line up in a particular order.
 According to height (tallest to shortest), date of birth (from January 1 to December 31),
or any other category.
 After the first round, have a discussion with the students about what was challenging about doing
that line up, different ways they communicated with each other and other creative ways they
might do a line up.
 Give them a second category for lining up.
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Movement Name Game
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To learn everyone’s name
Skills Practiced: Repetition and memorization
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group stand in a circle.
 Demonstrate how to speak loudly while doing a large movement.
 Have everyone repeat that back to her.
How to Play:
 The first person begins the circle rotation by loudly saying his/her name while at the same time
doing a movement.
 The whole group repeats back the name and movement.
 The next student says her/his name and does a movement of his/her own.
 Again whole group repeats back her name and movement.
 This call and response continues around the circle until everyone has gotten a turn.
Variations:
 For a second rotation specify the kind of movement the students are to make- must leave the
ground, must land on one foot, must spin around, etc.
 Pre-K: Send students into the middle of the circle to do their movement so everyone can see.
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Name Touch
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills, memorization and learn everyone’s name
Skills Practiced: Listening, peripheral vision, reflexes and awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Go around and say everyone’s name (if this is the first time playing name tags help)
 Demonstrate safe tagging/high fives
 Light touch, like butterfly wings
 Unsafe tags/high fives: hard contact that might hurt the person being tagged
 Students form a close circle with one player in the middle.
 Everyone, except the player in the middle, holds both hands out in front with their palms up.
How to Play:
 The leader begins the game by loudly saying someone’s name that is standing in the circle.
 The player in the middle then tries to tag that person who’s name was called.
 The player who’s name was called must say another player’s name before s/he is tagged by the
person in the middle.
 When a player gets tagged before s/he can say a name, s/he switches places and goes to the
middle.
 The player who successfully tagged a person on the outside gets to call out a name to begin the
next round.
Variations:
 Have the players standing in the circle close their eyes so they cannot see the person in the middle
coming towards them.
 Have the circle take a few steps back, so the person in the middle has to run towards the players.
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Partner Introductions
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: Learning about one another and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Listening, speaking and memorization
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group gather in a contained area.
 Lead a discussion about attentive listening before beginning the activity. Help students define
what “attentive listening” means and what it looks like. It is fully hearing what the other person is
saying without interrupting and not thinking about another topic or how you want to respond
while being spoken to. It includes facing the person who is speaking, making eye contact,
nodding or other physical responses to what is being said, etc.
How to Play:
 Group students into groups of two and decide who is side A and who is side B.
 Side A silently listens to side B for one minute (or shorter for younger groups) while side B
introduces himself, sharing anything he wants to share about himself.
 Reverse roles so side A has introduced him/herself to side B.
 Gather the whole group in a circle.
 Everyone takes a turn introducing their partner, by name, to the group, sharing the information
they have just collected about their partner.
Variation:
 Run it like an interview session and give teams sheets of paper with different questions to ask
each other.
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Pulse
Group Size: 10-35
Age Group: Grades 1st-5th
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop quick reflexes and awareness
Skills Practiced: hand eye coordination
Equipment Needed: ball or small object, chair or other object to place the ball on, quarter or other coin
with a heads/tails differential
Set-Up:
 Place a small object or ball on top of a chair
Before You Start:
 Thoroughly explain rules
 Review that the game is a silent game. All players except for the first two in line must have their
heads down and eyes closed
 Split players onto two teams and have them face each other while holding hands. The ball or
small object will be at the end of the lines in the middle of the two teams.
 Demonstrate gentle hand squeezing and consequences for not doing so
How to Play:
 The object is for one team to grab the small object before the other does by passing the current
down one person at a time.
 The judge will flip a coin, if the coin lands HEADS then the players at the front of the line may
start the current by gently squeezing the hand of the person next to them. The team whose end
person grabs the ball first gets a point.
 If the coin lands TAILS then no reaction should occur and after a few seconds the judge should
flip the coin again. In the event a team grabs the ball on a TAILS coin flip, then that team will
have a point subtracted from their total
 First team to 10 points wins
 After a player is in the front of the line they move down to the end and everyone moves one spot
up. Everyone should have an opportunity to be the grabber as well as the initiator, depending on
group size
Variations:
 Instead of gently squeezing, players can also raise hands and perform a “wave” effect.
Alternate Names of the Game:
 Electrical Current
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Ro Sham Bo Rock Star
Group Size: 10-50
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase social comfort, learn everyone’s name, improve verbal and nonverbal communication
Skills Practiced: Ro Sham Bo and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Review the rules of Ro Sham Bo.
 Make sure everyone understands the rules and how they support the person who won Ro Sham
Bo.
How to Play:
 Group student into pairs.
 Have each partner group introduce themselves and play a round of Ro Sham Bo (or enough
rounds to break a tie).
 The student who does not win becomes the winner’s cheerleader, following them and shouting
‘Go _____!’.
 The winner moves on to play another winning student.
 Each round, the winner advances to play again and the non-winners and any previous
cheerleaders are now all cheering for that winner.
 The game continues this way until it is down to two players and the whole group is cheering for
one or the other.
Alternate Names:
 Ro Sham Bo Champion
 Ro Sham Bo Cheerleader
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Rumor
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork and good listening
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: Blackboard and chalk (paper and pencil will do)
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Practice passing whispered rumor/ messages.
 Review rules and ask for questions.
 Divide class into teams.
 Choose 1 person from each team to meet together and create a rumor/message
How to Play:
 Once signaled to start the first person on each team will whisper the rumor/message to next
person on their team.
 S/he will whisper the rumor/message to the next person and so on.
 The rumor/message can not be repeated. This is a relay type game, pass on what you’ve heard.
 The last person to receive the rumor/message must run to the chalkboard and write the message.
The team that is closest to the correct rumor/message gets a point.
 Choose new players to create the message and play again.
Variations:
 Instead of a rumor/message, it can be a short list of celebrities or grocery list.
 Great way to incorporate the food pyramid, history, geography, or any other academic subject
into play.
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Sardines
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop awareness, creative thinking and social comfort
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Designate a large playing area that has places to hide
 Make sure students understand the rules, boundaries and the importance of safety
How to Play:
 One player goes off to hide.
 The rest of the group counts (you can decide what number to count to) and then splits up and goes
looking for the player who is hiding.
 When a player finds the hidden person, the player joins him or her in the hiding place.
 The game is over once everyone is cramped in one place.
 The first person to find the hidden player, become the hider in the next round.
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Shape Shifter
Group Size: 10 – 30
Age Group: K – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To support group management, identify the components of shapes, and form
different types of shapes.
Skills Practiced: Listening, spatial awareness, and shape recognition.
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Identify a space with safe boundaries that fits the entire group in the shape of a circle (this will
allow the group to morph in appropriate shapes throughout game).
Before You Start:
 Use attention getters to initiate countdown for each round of game.
 Talk about different shapes and the amount of sides each shape has.
 Model with students the ways in which they move their bodies to create shape.
Students should not touch one another and should exhibit good listening skills.
 The object of the game is to form the shape the leader identifies at the beginning of the round
within a specific amount of time.
 Then every student in the class (100 % participation) should use their body to form the shape.
 Students should stand straight-up, side-by-side to form the shape.
 Students should form the sides and angles of the different shapes.
 After each round debrief the shape making sure the shape has the right amount of sides and
the angles are approximately accurate.
 Repeat and form different shapes.
Variations:
 Make the students form the shape without speaking, therefore practicing their non-verbal
communication.
 Make the students skip, hop, or act like their favorite animal while forming the shape in order
to encourage different types of movement.
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Splat!
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop quick thinking and concentration.
Skills Practiced: Body and spatial awareness, listening to directions.
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Group forms a circle with one player in the middle
Before You Start:
 Make sure students understand the importance of safety and control
 Make sure all students know the rules and what happens if you are last to splat
How to Play:
 The player standing in the middle of the circle is the “splatter”.
 The splatter then randomly points at someone and shouts “SPLAT!”
 The player pointed at must duck down; then the two players either side of the ducker must “splat”
each other by pointing at the other and yelling “SPLAT!”
 The last one to splat sits down, and the player ducking stands back up.
 The game continues until there are two players left, have them Ro-Sham-Bo to determine who
will be the new splatter in the middle.
Variation:
 Instead of sitting down when last to splat, have that player switch with the player in the middle
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Superstar
Group Size: 6-30
Age Group: 2nd -12th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To learn about one another and improve non-verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Listening and speaking
Equipment Needed: none
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group gather in a contained area
 Put students into pairs.
 Demonstrate with a volunteer examples of commonalities that meet the criteria. “I wouldn’t tell
my partner that I have brown hair because he/she can see that. I wouldn’t say that I am in
elementary school because my partner already knows that. I might say, my favorite food is pizza.
What’s yours? Or I might ask, ‘What city were you born in?’
How to Play:
 Each group will have 1-2 minutes to find out how many things they have in common that
 (a.) They didn’t already know and
 (b.) Are not visible.
 When the time is up have youth get into a circle, standing next to their partner.
 One-by-one each pair will share one thing they have in common.
 After sharing their commonality, if others in the group also share that commonality they will put
their hands in the air, lunge forward, and yell “SUPERSTAR!”
 The next pair then shares their commonality and the process continues until all pairs have shared.
Variations:
 Have youth switch partners and do a round where they have to find out what they have in
common around a specific topic (sports, school and so on).
 Having youth do a round where they can’t speak and can only charades out ideas is not only fun,
but helps them with their non-verbal skills.
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Tomato
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: 3-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To learn quick thinking and build rapport
Skills Practiced: Gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group stand or sit in a circle.
How to Play:
 One person begins as the Answerer
 Everyone in the circle takes turn asking appropriate questions. The Answerer, must answer every
question with the word “tomato”.
 If the Answerer laughs or says something other than “tomato”, the person asking the question
becomes the new Answerer.
Variations:
 Change the word.
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Tornado
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st – 3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop social comfort and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Throwing and following directions
Equipment Needed: One playground ball
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Make sure the students understand the object of the game is to not have the ball
 Students understand that only the Tornado spins, and that they must pass the ball to the student
next to them.
How to Play:
 Students make one big circle.
 A single student begins in the middle as the Tornado.
 The class passes the ball around the circle while the Tornado in the middle spins around 10 times.
 When the Tornado stops, whoever has the ball becomes the next Tornado.
Variations: Allow students to alter the direction of the ball, have more than one ball going at the same
time, or alter the number of spins.
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When Nature Calls
Group Size: 5-20
Age Group: Grades 1st-8th
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: awareness of different animal sounds
Skills Practiced: Rhythm, hand eye coordination
Equipment Needed: yard stick or long grab able object
Before You Start:
 Circle up players about shoulder to should but with some personal space in between
How to Play:
 One person in the middle will close his/her eyes and spin slowly with the yardstick as the circle
moves in a clockwise motion
 The player in the middle will gently tap the yardstick on the ground three time to let the circle
knows it’s time to stop moving. At which point the player in the middle will extend the yardstick
toward a player.
 Whoever the yardstick is pointing must grab the end of the yardstick and to the best of their
ability make the animal sound the player in the middle asks for. The player in the middle may ask
for any animal within the animal kingdom or even extinct animals like dinosaurs.
 The player in the middle gets one guess to name which player is making the animal sound.
Players who make the sound get a chance to be in the middle afterwards
Alternate Names of the Game:
 Animal Kingdom
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Who Stole the Cookies?
Group Size: 5-20
Age Group: Pre-K -1st grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: Combining physical and verbal skills to enhance awareness. Learn each other’s
names
Skills Practiced: Rolling and catching, memory, verbal communication
Equipment Needed: 1 playground ball
Set-Up: Have the children stand in a circle
Before You Start:
 Practice rolling the ball to players and sitting down after they rolled
 Practice singing one round of the song
How to Play:
 The Song -Class: Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Coach ___ stole the cookies from the cookie
jar!
Coach: Who me?
Class: Yes you!
Coach: Couldn’t be!
Class: Then who?
 The coach will then roll the ball to a student in the circle (saying his or her name) and sit down.
 After the coach has said the child’s name…
Class: ______ stole the cookies from the cookie jar!
…and repeat as above.

Continue to roll the ball to everyone in the group and repeat the song for each person.
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Readiness Games
Much as in reading when children must first learn the alphabet, for sports and games there are building
blocks you can use to prepare students to go out and play. Some children learn how to hop, skip and jump
naturally, while others need formalized lessons and encouragement. For all elementary grades, the games
in this section help to build a foundation of basic skills that both develop capacities in the individual
students as well as establish a common movement vocabulary for an entire group.
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Alligator Swamp Trail
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop balance.
Skills Practiced: Balance, coordination and awareness
Equipment Needed: Jump Ropes (if needed).
Set-Up: Use existing lines on the yard or create them using jump ropes.
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students understand that the goal is to stay on the line (swap trail).
 Talk about how to pay attention to the person in front you so they don’t accidentally knock their
classmate off the trail.
How to Play:
 Give a description that you and the class are now entering the alligator swamp,
 To stay safe they must stay on the line, but if they step off they could get their foot chomped on
by an alligator. Make sure to be dramatic to make it more fun,
 Have the children follow you around the swamp and tell them if you see an alligator near them!
Variation:
 Change the swamp into anything you can imagine (shark tank/volcano lava).
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Animal Farm
Group Size: 20-40
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop children’s listening and cooperation skills.
Skills Practiced: Awareness and listening.
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Get students into a circle and have them number off from one to five.
 Assign an animal for each of the five numbers.
 Tell students what animal their number corresponds to and what sound that animal makes. They
could be a dog (bark), a duck (quack), a cow (moo), a cat (meow), a sheep (baa), a lion (roar), etc.
 Make sure every student has been assigned and remembers their animal.
How to Play:
 Students must keep their eyes shut during the game.
 They must find their fellow matching animals by making their sounds while walking slowly
around the area with their hands up to act as a bumper.
 The game is over when everyone has found their group or when the first group is complete and
together.
Variations:
 Instead of numbers, give students pictures of different animals which they need to represent with
the corresponding sound.
 Depending on the age and ability of your group you can add more or less animals to make groups
larger or smaller.
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Bird’s Nest
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: All Ages
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Running, quick thinking, teamwork, and physical
awareness
Equipment Needed: Beanbags and hula hoops
Set-Up: Arrange five hula hoops (bird nests) as shown in the
diagram. Place the beanbags (the cookies) in the center cookie jar.
Divide players into four teams and each team line up behind their
assigned cookie jar
Before You Start:
 Make sure students understand the importance of safety,
control and awareness
 Review the rules of the game and have students explain the game to you
How to Play:
 Each team’s goal is to get six cookies in their cookie jar.
 When told to start, the first person on each team runs to the center cookie jar to steal a cookie
(one cookie per turn).
 Player returns to his or her line and places it in their cookie jar, then the next player goes.
 Players keep taking cookies from the center jar until empty, at which point players can steal
cookies from each other’s jars. Players cannot defend their cookie jar.
 Game ends when one team has six cookies.
Variation:
 Players can defend their cookie jar by tagging opponents. Once tagged the player must return to
his or her line, then the next player goes.
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Clap and Move
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills
Skills Practiced: Running forward and backward, skipping, hopping, galloping, etc…
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Set up a clearly designated rectangular play area with visible boundaries
Before You Start:
 Students know what signal indicates they can begin to run.
 Clap a few times with a different number, i.e. twice or six times, to demonstrate what signal does
not sound like. Then clearly clap three times and count out loud to show what the signal sounds
likes
How to Play:
 Students are listening for the signal of three claps in a row.
 When you clap three times they will run to the other side of the field without touching
anyone else.
 Once the students have done this successfully several times, you repeat the game with a different
method for them to get across the field, for example skipping, hopping or leaping.
Variations:
 Change the number of claps students are listening for.
 Change the rhythm of the claps so it is harder to hear the number of claps.
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Colors
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: PreK-1st grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop color identification and listening skills
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness, running, walking, skipping and following directions
Equipment Needed: Several items of various colors
Set-Up: Place colored items throughout playing area
Before You Start:
 Identify visual boundaries (coned or chalked)
 Review colors.
 Give students a movement to use—walking, skipping, chicken walk, running.
 Address moving while being aware of others.
How to Play:
 Call out a color. Every student must move to a dot of that color and place one foot on the dot.
 Be sure that every student found a dot, and there aren’t too many students on any dot.
 Give students the chance to name other objects with that color. “The sun is yellow!” “So are our
pencils!”
 Start all over with a new color.
Variations:
 Instead of calling out a color. Call out an object, such as the grass. Students must run to a dot of
that object’s color, i.e. green.
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Continuous Relays
Group Size: 4-30
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and cooperation
Skills Practiced: Running, endurance, and pacing
Equipment Needed: A baton, bean bag, or other object; two cones for each team
Set-Up: Place each pair of cones approximately 20’ from each other (adjust the distance depending on
age and fitness level). Keep two arms length between each set of cones. Designate one side of cones to
start. Students need to be divided into teams of 4-6 people.
Before You Start: Each team counts off—1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. The odd numbers of each team stay at the start
cone, the evens go to the other side. Make sure students stay in numerical order.
How to Play:
 The first team member in the line runs to the other side while holding the baton or object, handing
off the baton to the next person on the other side.
 Runners need to wait until it is his or her turn to go—no false starts or switching order.
 Runners need to place the baton or other object directly into the next player’s hand. No throwing
the object.
 Runners need to give their best at all times. If someone is tired, s/he may slow down but continue
moving.
 Runners cannot interrupt the forward progress of different teams.
 Team members continue in order until time is called.
Variations:
 Have students skip, crab walk, etc. instead of running
 Have easy obstacles while students run, like placing hula hoops to jump through, students need to
do five jumping jacks before they hand off their baton, etc.
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Cookie Jar
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop active listening and evasion skills.
Skills Practiced: Running, tagging and evading
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Set up a rectangular play area with enough space in between for the group to run around in.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Line students up shoulder to shoulder along one of the boundary lines, making sure there is
adequate space for the students to spread out.
 Practice the verbal cues so the whole group asks “Cookie Monster, Cookie Monster are you
Hungry?” in unison.
 Review boundaries and consequences for going out of bounds.
How to Play:
 Explain that the students are cookies and you are the Cookie Monster. It is almost lunchtime for
you and you may be hungry.
 The students must ask you, “Cookie Monster, Cookie Monster are you hungry?”
 If you say “yes” they must try to run across the play area without getting tagged by you.
 If you say “no” they must remain where they are and ask again until you say “yes.”
 If a student gets tagged they become your helpers.
Variations:
 Modify for older kids who may not relate to cookie monster, i.e. “Boogie monster”.
 Once the game is understood, allow one of the students to be the Cookie Monster.
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Cut the Cake
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: 1st - 3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop quick thinking capabilities.
Skills Practiced: Running, physical awareness, teamwork and quick thinking
Equipment Needed: None
Set Up: None
Before You Start:
 Gather group into a circle holding hands. This circle is the Cake.
 Demonstrate the safe way to Cut the Cake.
 Choose a volunteer to help with a demonstration.
 The two arms that are connected become the knife, which is used to slice the cake.
 Force is not necessary to slice the cake. Students who are forming the cake should allow
the knife to slice through without resistance.
 Make sure students understand the importance of safety, control and awareness.
 Emphasize that students must work with their partner to be successful. One partner cannot pull
the other around the circle; they should run next to each other.
How to Play:
 Two people walk around the circle holding hands and decide where they want to ‘cut the cake’.
To do so, they use a slicing motion to gently break the chosen connected hands with their arms.
 The two people whose hands were ‘cut’ reconnect with each other and let go of the person on
their other side, creating a second pair.
 The new team has to run in the opposite direction around the circle and try to get back to the open
spot before the first pair.
 The first team back becomes part of the circle and
 The second team back begins a new round and gets to Cut the Cake. Any tie can be
solved with Ro Sham Bo.
 Continue the game until all students have had a turn.
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Dance Freeze
Group Size: 8-30+
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase aerobic fitness through ongoing dance.
Skills Practiced: Increase aerobic fitness, develop various motor skills and coordination, listening and
awareness.
Equipment Needed: Radio, tape or CD player.
Set-Up: Designate an open area free of obstacles approximately 20’x20’.Have the radio or tape/CD
player ready with an appropriate station or music selection.
How to Play:
 In this activity, students dance as the music plays.
 When the music stops, each student must freeze immediately and hold that position until the
music begins again.
 If a player does not freeze immediately, s/he does 10 jumping jacks during the start of the next
round and then rejoins the dance.
 Since this is an aerobic game, it is better not for students to get, “out.”
Variations:
 While dancing, students assigned as the look-out pick out a unique dance move. When the music
stops, they demonstrate the move for everyone, then the group tries the new move at the start of
the next round.
 Rather than have students do 10 jumping jacks, have them do something else- push ups, a balance
challenge, act as DJ, etc.
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Dead Fish
Group Size: 2-50
Age Group: PreK-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop body consciousness and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Body awareness, following directions, and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Remind students they need to find their own space, and there is no touching in this game.
 Talk about what a dead fish might look and act like.
How to Play:
 The leader of the game calls a countdown [ 5-4-3-2-1 DEAAAD FIIISH!], during which the
students can run around and make as much noise as they want (if you are playing in a classroom,
have students walk and talk quietly).
 When the leader says ‘Dead Fish’, all students must do their best impression of a dead fish. Often
this involves lying down.
 The leader walks among the fishes, looking for movement.
 If a student moves (beyond blinking), s/he is out and must go to the line.
Variations:
 When students get out, they can help look for movement or try to entice other players to move.
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Four Corners
Group Size: 5-40
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop decision making capabilities.
Skills Practiced: Running, physical awareness, decision making and non-verbal communication.
Equipment Needed: None
Set Up: An area with four corners. This can be a classroom or an area on the yard. If your yard does not
have corners, create designated areas using cones or play on the kickball field.
Before You Start:
 Have students split equally among the four corners.
 Do a practice round with leader in the middle.
How to Play:
 The student in the middle will close their eyes and count slowly and loudly from 10 to 0.
 While they are counting, all other students may stay where they are or quietly move to a different
corner. When the counter gets to 0, all students must be at a corner (if not they sit down).
 After counting, the student in the middle points to corner of his/her choice and can only open
their eyes after having done so.
 Any students standing in that corner must sit down.
 If no one is standing at the chosen corner, all students sitting may stand up and get back
into the game.
 When only one student is left standing, s/he becomes the counter for the next round.
Variations:
 Change the middle person when one person has been in the middle for 2 minutes.
 The counter can say that they will point to the loudest corner.
 This works for an indoor game as well.
 Teach this game on the kickball field to help students learn where the different bases are.
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Grocery Store
Group Size: 20 - 50
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students’ memorization skills and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Running, agility, safe tagging, spatial awareness and evasion
Equipment Needed: At least 3 sets of cones needed (4 green cones, 4 yellow cones, 4 red cones, 4
orange cones, 4 purple cones, 4 blue cones)
Set-Up: Set up 3-6 sets of cones around in a given area. Each set of 4 cones should make a square. (The
bigger the area used the more fun.)
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings, on the back of shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Remind kids to be aware of others running around them
 Assign each set of cones a fruit or vegetable that corresponds to their color e.g, purple cones =
grapes, yellow cones = lemons, etc.
 Make sure students can repeat what each color of cones corresponds to
How to Play:
 The leader starts as the Shopper. The Shopper will yell out, “I am going to the store to buy
some… grapes!”
 All the students must then run over to the box of purple cones with out being tagged by the
shopper.
 If they do get tagged they become a shopper and a tagger as well.
Variation:
 Instead of starting all the kids in one box and yelling out different fruits start them out as workers
in the grocery store and the leader as the manager. If you say I need the floors swept all the
students must walk around the play area pretended to sweep the floors until the leader yells, “The
shopper needs… grapes!” and then the students need to make it to the grape box without being
tagged.
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Hop’n Freeze
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills
Skills Practiced: Hopping, jumping, skipping, running and balance
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Use boundaries to create an appropriate size play area.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate how to avoid contact with each other.
 Students should be able to repeat all rules and signals.
 Spread students out to avoid contact and collisions.
How to Play:
 You must stay inside the boundaries,
 On 1st signal: students begin hopping (skipping, jumping, etc),
 On 2nd signal: students must freeze in a balanced position (on one foot, one foot and one hand,
etc),
 Repeat several times; change what students for each signal.
Variations:
 Have the children play this game while balancing a beanbag on their head.
 Have them go while holding hands with a partner and give added balancing challenges.
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Lava Game
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: Pre-K – 3rd grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop student’s ability to keep their balance and cooperation.
Skills Practiced: Hopping and jumping
Equipment Needed: Several Hula Hoops
Set-Up: Lay hula hoops in a line (either in a row or zigzag)
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate how to avoid contact with each other.
 Students should be able to repeat all rules and signals.
 Have students line up in a straight line.
How to Play:
 Create a scenario, tell the students that they are in a volcano and the only way to get out before it
erupts is hopping on the stones (the hula hoops).
 One at a time, each student should run, hop, or jump through the hula hoops.
 Once a player has made it across safely have them line up at the end.
 If a student misses a hula hoop they go back to the end of the line a wait to try again.
 Game finishes once everyone has made across the lava safely.
Variations:
 For older groups, have students go 2 or more at a time.
 Lay out the hula hoops further apart once players understand the game, making it more difficult
to cross the lava.
 When a player misses a hoop, they can only use 1 leg. If they miss again a hula hoop is removed
and they can use both legs again.
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Leap Frog
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation.
Skills Practiced: Jumping and ducking
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Create a start and finish line (if applicable).
Before You Start:
 Set up 2 single file lines. Space children out, so there is enough room for the leap frog to land in
between.
 Demonstrate safe ways to jump over people and how they should stay in a safe crouched position.
 Make sure all students understand the need for safety and cooperation.
How to Play:
 The students are now frogs trying to cross a pond with their fellow frogs.
 To stay on the lily pads they must hop in a straight line one over the other.
 The frog at the back of the line will go first.
 They will hop over the frogs in front of them (who are crouched down to make it easier for the
jumping frog) until they reach the front, where they will stop.
 After the leaping frog has made it to the front of the line and is crouched down, the next frog at
the back of the line will begin to jump forward.
 Frogs jump to a finish line ,or you can set a number of times each frog must jump.
Variations:
 See how fast or how high each group can go.
 Make more than one line and do a relay race.
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Mr. Fox
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop body and spatial awareness.
Skills Practiced: Agility and evasion
Equipment Needed: Cones or chalk
Set-Up: Designate a large rectangular play area with clear boundaries and enough room for children to
run. On one end of the rectangle have an end zone that will be the designated safe zone.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Practice with the students asking Mr. Fox “What time is it Mr. Fox?”
 Demonstrate what happens when you get tagged, you freeze and become Mr. Fox’s helper.
 Show the children where the safe line that they need to pass so Mr. Fox can not tag them.
 Review the boundaries, the safe zone and the consequence for going outside them.
 You automatically become a Mr. Fox’s Helper.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to avoid being tagged by Mr. Fox
 The children will start at the beginning of their safe zone ask “What time is it Mr. Fox?”
 Whatever time Mr. Fox says the children will take that number of steps towards Mr. Fox, leaving
their safe zone.
 If Mr. Fox says “its lunch time” the children must run back to their safe zone without getting
tagged.
 If you get tagged you freeze until Mr. Fox turns you into one of his helpers.
 When you are a helper you begin to tag other children when Mr. Fox says its lunch time.
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My DVD Player
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students’ ability to listen to directions
Skills Learned: Running, following directions, reflexes and awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: A rectangle of boundaries
Before You Start:
 Have students repeat back what action goes with each command.
How to Play:
 The person calling the game may call any command found on a remote control
 Play – Students begin walking towards finish line.
 FF – Students run to finish line.
 Rewind – Students move backwards.
 Pause – Students freeze.
 Slow Motion – Students move super slow.
 Power off – Students crouch down like an egg.
 Power on – Students stand up.
 Students must react to the commands called.
 The goal is to make it all the way to the finish line.
 When a student makes a mistake s/he must do 10 jumping jacks, or another short activity, to reenter the game.
Variations:
 For younger grades start with just two or three commands and add new ones as they master the
original commands.
 Students who make a mistake:
 Join the leader on the sideline as judges
 Remain in the game but must go back to the starting line.
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Pony Express
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 1st - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork and cooperation
Skills Practiced: Running, endurance and pacing
Equipment Needed: Chalk, two cones and two bean bags
Set-Up: A very large square or rectangle
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Divide the students into two teams.
 Have one team line up diagonally at one cone, and the other team line up diagonally at the other
cone.
 Hand the bean bags to the first student in each line.
How to Play:
 On the leader’s signal, the first student for each team begins to run counterclockwise around the
square/rectangle, making sure to run completely around the lines (i.e. no cutting corners).
 After the first student has run an entire lap, s/he hands off the bean bag to the next student in line,
and s/he begins to run a lap.
 The object for both teams is to catch up to the other team and tag the student running on the
shoulder to score a point.
 If someone is tagged, a new round begins at each cone with the first student in line.
Variations:
 Try walking, skipping, hopping, etc. (if the space is smaller, or for younger students)
 With more advanced groups, no equipment is necessary if you have natural boundaries, and they
can high-five the next person in line.
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Poop Deck
Group Size: 5-35
Age Group: 1st-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills and awareness.
Poop
Deck
Main
Deck
Quarter
Deck
Skills Practiced: Running, physical and spatial awareness, listening and reflexes
Equipment Needed: None
Set Up: A large rectangle split into 3 equal sections (basketball court works with key lines extended with
chalk), designate/label sections: Poop Deck, Quarter Deck and Main Deck.
Before You Start:
 Line students up on the sideline. Make sure all students have room to move safely between the
decks.
 Make sure all students know where each deck is located.
 Review the importance of awareness and honesty.
How to Play:
 Students line up with their toes behind the sideline.
 The leader stands at the end-line and shouts either poop deck, quarter deck or main deck.
 All students must then run to the designated area.
 The last student to cross over the line into the area is out until the next round. The caller
is the judge (but students usually know when they do not make it).
 When only a few students are left; begin a new round.
Variations:
 The Decks can be answers/solutions to trivia or math for older students.
 The last student in becomes the new caller for the next round.
 Combine commands with that of Shipwreck.
 Instead of students becoming judges, if they arrive last they do 10 jumping jacks and get back in
the game.
 Create new commands, incorporating other skills e.g., walking, skipping, hopping, jogging
backwards, etc. (Also good to consider for safety reasons.)
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Push-Catch
Group Size: 4-30
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening and motor skills
Skills Practiced: Catching and throwing.
Equipment Needed: 1 ball (preferably a gator-skin ball)
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Ask them to make a big circle, with some space between the people next to them.
 Play starts in the middle with the ball.
How to Play:
 Explain that the thrower in the middle will go around the circle tossing the ball to each person
saying “Push” or “Catch”
 If the thrower says “Push” the person that the ball is thrown to needs to catch it.
 If the thrower says “Catch” the person that the ball is thrown to needs to push it back.
 If they do the correct motion to the command they remain in the game, if they do the wrong
action the sit until the next round.
 Next round starts once there is one person left standing
Variations:
 The game can be played were the thrower can go in any order and can also incorporate snake
eyes/faking out the students in the circle.
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Red Light, Green Light
Group Size: 1-50
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop awareness.
Skills Practiced: Listening, observation and agility
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Clearly define the playing area with a designated starting line and finish line.
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students know the rules and what happens if they move on a ‘Red Light’.
 How to move quickly and safely.
How to Play:
 Start with all students along the starting line,
 When you say ‘Green Light’ everyone will walk towards the finish line,
 When you say ‘Red Light’ everyone must immediately stop.
 If students are still moving when you call ‘Red Light’, they must go back to the starting
line.
 Start a new round when everyone gets across the finish line or when most of the students make it
across the finish line.
Variations:
 Give variations of how children make move towards the finish line, e.g. hop, skip, gallop etc.
 The leader can designate his/herself as the finish line. This enables the game to move around so
that when students begin to get close to the finish line (the leader) the finish lines moves farther
away.
 Add other lights, i.e. Yellow Light = slow walk, Purple Light = hop on one foot.
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Ro Sham Bo Relay
Group Size: 6-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills
Skills Practiced: Speed walking, running and Ro-Sham-Bo
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Set out a semi circle (U shaped) path using cones or other markers.
You can also use half of a basketball court.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into two groups; each group in a single file line.
 Each line of students starts at the ends of the “U”.
 Review how to Ro Sham Bo.
 Make sure students know where to go when the win and lose the Ro Sham Bo.
How to Play:
 The goal of the game is for a player from one line to make it to the start of the opposite teams
line.
 The player who made it from one side to the opposite side gets a point for his/her team.
 The game begins on a signal from the leader.
 The first players in each line begin walking on the path towards each other.
 When the first two players from opposite teams encounter each other on the path, they stop and
Ro Sham Bo until one player wins.
 The winner continues walking on the path in the same direction,
 While the losing side allows their next player to start walking on the path.
 Again when the players encounter each other, they do Ro Sham Bo until one player wins.
 The game continues, with each side accruing points each time they make it all the way around the
path to the other team’s side.
Variations:
 Make the path longer or shorter.
 Add obstacles to the path.
 Give players a theme to name from as they meet in the middle. For example, each side has to yell
out the name of a fruit or a vegetable, a natural environment, a State, etc…before they Ro Sham
Bo. This variation is great for teachers who want to reinforce class learning in an active way.
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Run If…
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: PreK-1st grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students’ listening and awareness
Skills Practiced: self-identity and listening
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: Cone and/or chalk out a space to play
Before You Start:
 Identify the boundaries.
 Line up students on one line and have them point/go to the other line
How to Play:
 Call out “Walk if…” or “Run if…” or “Hop if…” and an identifier “you have shoe laces”. All
students who have shoe laces will walk/run/hop (or another movement) to the other line and wait
on it.
 Continue to call our identifiers. “Run if you have Velcro shoes!” “Run if you have on sandals!”
until all students are on the other line.
 Turn-around and continue game with new identifiers back to the first line.
Notes:
Be aware of what identifiers you use. Be inclusive. Avoid identifiers based on race, class and gender.
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Running Through the Forest
Group Size: 1-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students’ imaginations, creative thinking and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Jogging, jumping, running, ducking and following instructions
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have students stand on their home bases
How to Play:
 Tell all of the students to imagine that they are not on the yard, but that they are in a forest.
 Explain that the class is going to be explorers going on a walk through the forest using their
imaginations.
 Have all the students walk in place while you describe the trip the class is taking through the
woods. Occasionally have the students duck under “branches” and jump over fallen “trees.”
 Slowly begin to speed up the pace the children are walking.
 Maybe you hear something coming and you speed up so it doesn’t catch the class. Soon the class
is jogging in place instead of walking.
 Suddenly yell that there is a bear or some kind of predator chasing them and speed the jog to a
run.
 Add in the “branches” and the “fallen trees” so that the students are warming up their other
muscles as well by jumping and ducking.
 After the students are winded, slow them down again.
 Next you can pretend to “swim” across a river or “climb” tree or cliff.
 Anything other variation that requires movement at different speeds and loosens the body is great.
 The activity can carry on for however long and however silly as necessary.
Variation:
 After students are familiar with this warm-up it's fun to have their input on the type of story to tell
or journey to take--the beach, a hike through the mountains, etc.
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Scramble
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop active listening capability.
Skills Practiced: Use of peripheral vision and jumping jacks
Equipment Needed: Painted numbers/spots for home bases or Chalk.
Set-Up: Make a number of X’s spread out on an open play area with clear boundaries for “home bases”.
Have students find a “home” spot.
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students have and know where their home base is located.
 Demonstrate and practice proper jumping jacks.
 Review the signals with the students.
 Emphasize the importance of awareness and safety.
How to Play:
 Explain a series of signals each which correlates with an action that the students must perform.
You can make up your own signals.
 When you roll your arms, it means scramble and the children can move all around the
designated area until they see or hear the next signal.
 A student who is slow to get back to their “home base” is assigned three jumping jacks to
complete before returning to the game
Variation:
 This game can be used to teach children where their home bases are for warm-ups and cool
downs during Class Game Time.
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Secret Agent
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop active listening and awareness
Skills Practiced: Agility and observation
Equipment Needed: 1 Cone
Set-Up: Clearly define the playing area with a designated starting line
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students know the rules and what happens if they are caught moving on “Abort!”
 Demonstrate how to move quickly and safely
How to Play:
 Have one player, the secret agent, stand 50 ft or more away from the other players, the spies.
 The secret agent has his or her back towards the spies, and to start each round the secret agent
yells “Access Agent” and the spies advance toward the secret agent’s cone to try and capture it.
 At any moment the secret agent can turn around and shout “Abort!” Then the spies must stop
immediately and any spy caught moving must sit down where he or she is and wait till the next
game.
 The first spy to reach the secret agent’s cone becomes the new secret agent for the next game.
Variation:
 Instead of sitting down when caught moving, the spies have to go back to the starting line and can
continue playing
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Sequence Touch
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization skills
Skills Practiced: Evasion and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate an area that has objects that many students can run to and tag i.e. basketball hoop,
fence, grass and so on.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate how to avoid other people when running towards the object you are trying to tag.
 Always keep your head up.
 You do not have to always go straight, move side to side to avoid running into other
people.
 Explain the importance of being aware of yourself and others around you.
 Show them where the return location is after they tag all of the objects.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to remember and tag all of the objects that I list off as quickly as you
can and return to the designated area
 When I say the magic work “banana” you will go and tag a basketball hoop, a fence, and
something green. When you have tagged all of those objects return your home base before I finish
counting down from 10.
Variations:
 Make the students touch the objects with different parts of their bodies
 Make the children skip, hop, act like their favorite animal while tagging the objects
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Sharks and Minnows
Group Size: 10-100
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills and a sense of boundaries.
Skills Practiced: Agility and awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Set up a clearly designated rectangular play area with visible boundaries.
Before You Start:
Once children understand what the sharks will say, what the minnows do and when and where to run
when ‘Shark Attack!’ is called, they are ready to start.
How to Play:
 Choose a few students to be sharks and everyone else will be minnows.
 The sharks stand in the middle of the play area and say “Fishy, fishy, come out and play.” The
minnows slowly walk towards the sharks.
 At any time, the sharks can yell “Shark Attack!”
 The minnows must run to the opposite boundary line without being tagged.
 If a minnow is tagged, s/he also becomes a shark.
 When there is only one or two minnows left; they become the sharks in the next round.
Variations:
 Another option is to have minnows run back to the starting line when “Shark Attack” is called.
 You can choose different predators and preys.
 Change the consequences for getting tagged, e.g.,
 If you get tagged on the first attempt to get to the other side, you become a shark.
 On all following attempts, if you are you become seaweed and you cannot move your
feet.
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Shipwreck
Group Size: 6-60
Age Group: K-6th grades
Length of Activity: 5-45 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase children’s listening skills, endurance, and awareness.
Skills Practiced: Running, balancing, physical awareness, memory, verbal and non-verbal
communication, co-operation, evasion, and nautical terms
Equipment Needed: A large rectangle with a center line (a basketball court works well).
Set-Up: Have the students line up on a clearly marked line in the middle of the playing area.
Before You Start:
 Make sure students know the commands you will be using. Start with a few and increase the
number of commands you use as students are able to remember them.
How to Play:
 The leader explains that s/he is the captain of the boat/ship and is going give commands to the
students/crew to perform a specific movement or sound.
 Explain that the crew is sailing treacherous seas and need to work together and follow the
captain’s commands to survive.
 If crew members does not follow the commands correctly or is the last to follow the command
they must go sit in the “brig” or break-room.
 Explain the playing area and designate which end is the “bow” of the ship and which end is the
“stern.” The goal is to be the last crew member standing.
Commands:
1. Roll call: the crew must line up at the midline of the playing area, feet together, toes
on the line, salute and say “aye-aye
captain!” The crew may not lower their
salute until the captain salutes and says “at
ease.”
2. Crow’s nest: students act as if they’re
climbing up a ladder to the crow’s nest, the
top of the main mast, an area at the highest
point of the ship to lookout.
3. Swab the deck: students act like they’re
mopping the deck.
4. Shark attack: the captain becomes a shark
and tries to tag the crew. Those tagged go to
the “brig”.
5. Break time: active crew members can run to
the “brig” and tag as many people as
possible. Those that are tagged can come
back in and play again. Make sure everyone
gets let out of the “brig” during break time.
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which one gets on their hands and knees and
which one stands a places a foot gently on
the other’s back while acting like their using
a spyglass to find the sailor in the water.
7. Drop anchor: crew lies on their backs with
legs up and acts like an anchor.
8. Pirates: crew closes one eye, puts up a hook
finger, hobbles around like they have a pegleg and say “Aaargh!”
9. Row to Shore: crew gets in lines of 4;
students act as if they are rowing to safety,
while singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”
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Simon Says
Group Size: 1-30
Age Group: K-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase listening skills
Skills Practiced: Running, skipping, hopping and balancing
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Play a practice round to make sure students understand.
 Students are clear on the consequences when they do not follow directions.
 Students understand how to maintain safe distances between them selves.
How to Play:
 Explain that you are going to give directions to perform a specific movement or sound,
 Students should only follow your direction if you first say “Simon Says”,
 If someone follows your direction when you don’t say “Simon Says” they receive a consequence.
 Possible consequences are:
o sitting out a round,
o 10 jumping jacks,
o run a lap.
 The leader can call all types of directions, i.e. touch your nose, toes, etc., stretch to the sky, run in
place, jump 5 times, skip high, make silly animal noises, etc.
Variations:
 A basketball version of this is called Shaq Says which might be more appropriate for older
children and basketball practice. In this game all of the commands are obviously basketball
related. For example: Defense- all the players should go into a defensive position, Slide- all of the
players would shuffle their feet once in the direction you move. Other commands are pass, shoot,
dribble in front, around your back, between your legs, with your left hand, spin on your finger,
dunk, etc.
 You can be really sneaky and say, “Great job, you can relax and stand up now” and get them all
out!
 Allow students to take on the leader role and be “Simon”.
 Pre-K: Instead of saying “Simon says”, say “touch your nose” while touching your nose at the
same time. Students should mirror the action and touch their nose. Continue the game, saying
touch your ears, touch your knees, etc. When students get the hang of that, say touch your _____,
but touch a different body part. Most of the students will copy the movement and laugh when
they realize the mistake.
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Sports Clubs
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: PreK-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students listening skills and build confidence
Skills Practiced: Following directions and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: None.
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students have space.
 Review several types of games with students and actions for those games.
Examples:
o Basketball
o Tag
o Four Square
o Boxing
o Tennis
o Gymnastics
o Football
 Identify a signal for a silent freeze.
How to Play:
 Call out a game and model the action, all students will “play” that game by acting it out.
 Give signal to freeze. Repeat with different games.
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Super Happy Fun Time
Group Size: 1-15
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization, creative thinking, and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Agility, body and spatial awareness, and following directions
Equipment Needed: Cones, small objects of various shapes and colors, small bucket or bag, dodge balls
(optional)
Set-Up: Lay out boundaries (usually a rectangle and students move through it the long way). Dodge balls
are placed along the side lines and where the adult will be standing.
Before You Start:
 Review the importance of listening, paying attention, and being careful of others around you.
 Go over how to safely throw the dodge balls.
How to Play:
 Explain that in your bucket/bag, you have various objects.
 Each object means something different as in the students need to do jumping jacks, run, walk
backwards, skip, fast feet, etc.
 They must pay attention to what you are holding up and do that movement.
 Start by reminding what the correlating movement is, then stay silent for a challenge.
 Their goal is to make it to the finish line first. That person is then allowed to change the
movement to anything they’d like for one of the objects.
Variations:
 For older students, pick one object to mean that they need to run back to where they started. If
you are able to tag them with a dodge ball, they must go to a sideline spot with a dodge ball. For
later rounds when you hold up that object, they help you try to get people out with the dodge
balls.
 Come up with any movement you want depending on age and/or interests (this will keep it
interesting for you and the kids).
 Add more objects (increase complexity, challenge students more).
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Switch
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop active listening capability.
Skills Practiced: Agility and conflict resolution
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: A four-square court or 4 cones forming a square and one in the middle.
Before You Start:
 Make sure students know the 4 areas to run to.
 Review how to Ro Sham Bo.
 Play a practice round.
How to Play:
 5 players at a time. Each player occupies a corner or the middle.
 Play begins when the person in the middle says “Switch”.
 All players must find a new corner/cone to occupy.
 If two players arrive at the corner at the same time a quick Ro-Sham-Bo is played, winner
stays.
 The next person in line, become the person in the middle and begins the next round.
Variations:
 Use different shapes
 Add more areas the students can run to
 Use 4 different colored hula hoops. Have the student in the middle call out a color that signals the
players to run/switch. The caller runs to the color which s/he called aloud. All other players have
to switch hula hoops but may not run to the color that was called out.
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Tip It Over, Pick It Up
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To follow directions and remember a task.
Skills Practiced: Listening, coordination and awareness
Equipment Needed: A contained area, square or circle, 20-30 cones.
Set-Up: Place cones randomly inside the boundaries of the game.
Before You Start:
 Make sure students understand safety precautions such as hands and feet should be kept to
themselves and be aware of other students.
 Students understand what to do when you blow the whistle.
 Students know what team they are on and what their task is.
How to Play:
 Divide students into two teams.
 One team is known as the “Tipper overs”, who must knock the cones over.
 The other team as the “Picker uppers”, who must stand the cones up.
 The “Tipper overs” must tip over all the cones, the “Picker uppers” need to stand the cones up.
 Cones must be tipped or picked up gently, with one hand, their feet should never touch the cones.
 On your whistle all students must freeze and put their hands in the air.
 Count how many cones are tipped and how many are standing.
 After the first round switch the teams, so each team gets a chance to do the other job.
 Each round is one minute in length.
Alternative Names:
 Builders and Bulldozers
 Mountains and Valleys
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Weather Vane
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: Learn basic geographical directions and orientation
Skills Practiced: Following directions, active listening and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Outside home base area or Classroom
Before You Start:
 Point and call out to students the four compass directions, have the students repeat and point out
the directions North, South, East and West.
 Practice jumping and facing the compass directions as they are called, be sure that everyone
understands the position of the compass direction called out.
 Review boundaries, being mindful and aware of space.
 Review rules, ask for questions.
How to Play:
 Have students scatter out in the designated play area or classroom.
 Call out a compass direction, and have students jump in place making the necessary turn in the
air to face the direction called.
 Make sure that all kids are rotating in the same direction.
 If a child is already facing the compass direction that is called, you can have them do one or two
things such as still jump and land in correct position or that they are not to jump at all.
 If a student is facing in the wrong direction or jumping when not supposed to s/he is out. S/he
can get back in after sitting out a round or doing an exercise to get back in.
Variation:
 Can be used as jump rope game with a large jump rope or small jump ropes.
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Where Are You?
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization and listening skills
Skills Practiced: Visualization and spatial awareness.
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Have children seated in the play area/classroom.
Before You Start:
 Review signals for closing and opening their eyes.
 Students should be able to repeat all rules and signals.
 Give an example of a question, have students practice with their eyes open.
How to Play:
 Allow students 1 minute to observe/study their surroundings as if they were detectives.
 On your signal, have students close their eyes and imagine the room.
 Ask a variety of questions:
 How many doors are there?
 Point to the door that takes you to the hallway.
 Point to the door that takes you to the playground.
 What colors are the walls, ceiling, floor?
 What color is the rug?
 Point to the fire extinguisher.
 Students can point to, say or raise their hand to give the answer.
Variations:
 Allow students to take over the role of facilitation.
 Play in complete silence, so all students can experience success by allowing them to process at
their own speed.
 For older students, ask more difficult more detailed oriented questions.
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Whistle Mixer
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills.
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: Whistle
Set Up: Set up a clearly designated play area with visible boundaries.
Before You Start:
 Students need to be scattered within a playing area. Have them walk around without touching
each other. Feel free to have them skip, hop, jump, etc.
 Have a practice round so students can get the idea before they are put under the pressure of sitting
out a game.
How to Play:
 When the leader blows the whistle a specific number of times the students must form groups with
the same number of people as whistle.
 If s/he blows the whistle four times the students must group themselves in groups of four
(five whistles=groups of five, etc.).
 Students can be directed to hold hands or perform a number of physical movements once they
form their group.
 Those students who were not able to form with a group will go to the “waiting area” and be out
just one turn.
Variation:
 You can challenge the more advanced students by requiring them to perform a specific task when
the whistle is blown before they can form groups.
 Pre-K: When the adult blows the whistle, kids must find a partner as quickly as possible. Remind
students to let go of their partner’s hand before telling them to go again. Repeat, asking them to
find a new partner each time.
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Zoo
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: PreK-2
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students listening skills and spatial awareness
Skills Practiced: Listening, knowledge of letters and animals
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Create boundaries
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students know the boundaries for the game
 Give students several examples of animals
 Remind students to be aware of others around them
 Give students a signal to begin and to freeze
How to Play:
 Give students the begin signal. All students will walk in the region like the animal of her/his
choice, but must be silent
 Give the freeze signal. All students will freeze and make the sound of her/his animal
Variation:
 As students begin to learn sounds or letters better, give the class a sound of a letter or letter itself,
and all students must be an animal that starts with that sound or letter. Review any new animals
chosen afterward so everyone can learn sounds and animals.
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Tag Games
Tag games have a timeless popularity that often surprises adults. We may have a hard time view tag as a
‘real’ game in the context of sports. However, tag games are not only uniformly successful and fun for
elementary age students, but these games are also accessible to most students and can teach a number of
basic movement skills that lead toward other more complex games and sports. The tag games included in
this chapter range from simply teaching agility and evasion to more elaborate games that teach
cooperation, teamwork and strategic thinking. Dive in, introduce these games to your students, and enjoy
the smiles and laughter to come!
Gotcha!
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7-Up Tag!
Group Size: 10-50
Age Group: 2nd & up
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop hand-eye coordination & a sense of shared space
Skills Practiced: Running, Agility, Safe Tagging, spatial awareness, evasion
Equipment Needed: colored jerseys
Set-Up: Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to run
Before You Start:
 Review the boundaries
 Pick 7 people to be taggers
 Have the taggers put on the colored pennies
 Demonstrate safe tagging
o Light touch, like butterfly wings, on the shoulder
o Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
How to Play:
 7 taggers stand in the play area while the rest of the group stands on a boundary line
 The students on the boundary line turn around and close their eyes and stick out their thumb
 7 taggers go around and tap one thumb
 When they are done, the taggers say “Heads Up, 7-up!”
 The students that were tagged then have to chase the 7 taggers to find out who tapped their thumb
 The students that were tagged continue tagging the original taggers until they find out who tagged
them
 If a tagger did not tap a student’s thumb, they must say “Not me!”
 Coach can do a countdown to start a new round
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Animal Tag
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop hand-eye coordination and an ability to listen to directions
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, safe tagging, body and spatial awareness and running
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a large play area with clear boundaries and enough room for students to run around
safely.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review the boundaries and the consequences for going outside them
 Group students into 2 groups, assign each group to be an animal
 Have groups practice making the sound of their animal
How to Play:
 The goal is to turn everyone into the same animal as your group.
 Once the game begins all students should be making animals noises and trying to safely tag each
other
 Once a student is tagged, s/he becomes the animal of the person that tagged her/him.
 The game continues until all students are the same animal
Variations:
 Create more animal groups
 Choose 1-3 students that cannot be changed from their original animal (to keep the game going
continuously)
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Arena/Flag Tag
Group Size: 15- 40
Age Group: 3rd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination
Skills Practiced: Evasion, running, safe tagging and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Any type of flag or jersey (one per student)
Set-Up: A basketball court sized space. Evenly space cones on the outside of the boundaries.
Before You Start:
 Provide an example of where and how to place flags (in a pocket or waist band at least ¾ of the
flag showing)
 Express the need for safe and fair play, including no flag guarding, rolling on the ground, taking
flags off the ground, or calling out “cheater”.
 Give students a safe way to express their needs to review the quality of the game, i.e.
approaching Coach or rock-paper-scissors.
 Review boundaries and rules, ask for questions.
How to Play:
 Everyone moves within the boundaries trying to avoid the each other.
 If a player grabs a flag, they must place it on the ground.
 Once a flag is on the ground, it is considered off limits.
 When a player loses her or his flag, s/he must get down on the ground (sitting or kneeling).
 In order to get back off the ground, a player who is kneeling may grab a runner’s flag and place
the flag in her or his pocket.
Variations:
 Allow students to crawl on their knees while trying to regain a flag.
Double Flag Tag: using two flag. Both flags must be pulled before the player goes down to the ground.
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Band Aid Tag
Group Size: 10-50
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination
Skills Practiced: Evasion , running, safe tagging and agility
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a clear playing area. Designate a ‘hospital’ outside the play area
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Review what to do when you get tagged
 Make sure students know where the hospital is and how to be fixed.
How to Play:
 Ask for a volunteer to be “it”.
 If a student is tagged, s/he must take one hand and put it directly on the place where they were
tagged. The hand is a “band aid”.
 S/he can continue to run around and avoid being tagged but they must keep their ‘band aid’ on,
now s/he only has one free hand.
 If s/he is tagged again, s/he must take the other hand and place it on the second spot where s/he
tagged. S/he can still continue to run around with both “band aids” on.
 If s/he is tagged a third time, s/he has to go to the ‘hospital’ and do ten jumping jacks to get back
in.
Variations:
 Students can be “treated” at the hospital by counting to 20 and then return to the game without
any “band aids”.
 Students can go to the hospital at any time to remove any band-aids. They do not have to wait
until they are tagged the second or third time.
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Blob Tag
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop, cooperation
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, endurance, safe tagging and running
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a playing area large enough run in.
Before You Start:
 Ask for two volunteers, and assign both of them to be it. They become The Blob and must link
elbows.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Demonstrate with volunteers how to move with a partner, how to link when you are tagged, and
how to separate when there are four people in The Blob.
 Make sure the students understand the rules, boundaries and the importance of safety.
 Spread students out within playing area.
How to Play:
 When play begins, The Blob moves, keeping elbows linked, trying to tag the rest of the players.
 When someone gets tagged s/he also links elbows and becomes part of The Blob.
 When a fourth player is tagged, The Blob then separates into two separate Blobs.
 Every time a Blob becomes four players it splits; two players detach creating two separate Blobs.
 Play continues until all of the players are turned into Blobs.
 If a player runs out of bounds while trying to avoid The Blob, s/he must then connect with the
nearest Blob and continue to play.
 The last two players can then become the first Blob for the next game.
Variation:
 If students are playing safely, the “zombie” can stay connected and continue to grow bigger and
bigger until all the players are tagged. Challenge the class to stay together when they move.
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Capture the Flag
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-40 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, cooperation, strategic thinking and verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Reflexes, evasion, running, safe tagging , spatial awareness and endurance.
Equipment Needed: Cones and two flags
Set-Up: Divide the playing field in half and designate
two small “zones” on both sides to hold people who
are tagged. There can also be a designated circle on
each side where the flag is placed.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into two teams.
 Make sure students understand all rules and know where the boundaries are located.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
How to Play:
 Each team tries to take the other team’s flag and return across the center line without being
tagged.
 When guarding the flag zone or the holding zone, a defender must be at least 2’ away from the
zone boundaries.
 If a player is tagged while on their opponent’s side they are must go to the holding zone on their
opponent’s side.
 If a player who has stolen the flag is tagged, the flag is returned to the flag zone, and the player
goes to the zone.
 A player can be freed from the holding zone when a teammate crosses the center line and tags the
player; both players then receive a free walk back to their side.
 A player can only free one teammate at a time.
 If an opposing player can get both feet into the flag zone without being tagged, they can remain
there without safely (without getting tagged) before attempting to cross the center line.
Variations:
There are several rules that you may change or add depending on the age and number of students playing:
 Limit the number of players allowed in the circle at one time
 Allow a player in the circle to throw the flag to a teammate. The flag must still be carried over the
center line however.
 The players in the tagged zone can join hands and reach out of the zone to make it easier to be
freed. Similarly, all players in the holding zone are freed when a player makes it across to rescue
them.
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Cat and Mice
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: PreK-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop a sense of shared space
Skills Practiced: Evasion, spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: 5 hula hoops (or enough so 5 students could share a hoop)
Set-Up: Place hula hoops out in a game space that is coned or chalked out
Before You Start:
 Identify the game boundaries.
 Inform students that the hula hoops may not move from their spots.
 Provide an example to the game.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Identify five students to be cats (or one cat for every four mice).
How to Play:
 Allow four students to place a foot in each hula hoop. This will be their mice hole.
 Call out “Mice travel!” and all the students/mice must find a new mice hole/hula hoop.
 If a mouse gets tagged, s/he will become the cat, and the cat will get to be a mouse.
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Chair Tag
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st-8th grade
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop spatial awareness
Skills Practiced: Safe tagging, time management, and follow directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Classroom with chairs and space to move.
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students understand how to tag properly
 Review that everyone gets one turn, and that students should ‘take’ the spot of the student they’ve
tagged
How to Play:
 Everyone begins standing behind his/her chair.
 A student is chosen to begin, and s/he must quickly tag another student and take his/her chair.
 The student that’s been tagged must tag another student and take his/her spot.
 Each student may only have one turn per round (tip – have students raise their hands if they have
not had a turn yet).
 Each student has 5 seconds to tag another student, and the adult facilitates the game by counting
down loudly for each student.
Variations:
 Students can move in pairs.
 Students can have more or less time.
 Students can be required to do a special “hi-five” to “tag” someone.
 Students in the class can work together as a team to reach a certain time goal.
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Charades Tag
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop non-verbal communication and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Pantomiming, running, evasion and cooperation.
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Three lines of equal distance apart
Before You Start:
 Make sure the students understand how to play charades.
 Do a couple of warm up rounds so they get the idea of acting in silence and guessing the action.
 Divide the group into two teams.
 Each team comes up with an action or scenario they will act out.
 Give categories to help the kids decide. Younger grades: animals, occupations and sports,
For older grades make it more challenging with movies, songs, people and so on.
 Have one person from each team tell you what their charade will be.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
How to Play:
 Once each team has told you what their charade will be, have the two teams face off, by standing
equal distance from the middle line.
 Decide who will act out their charade first.
 On your signal one team acts out their charade while the other team guesses.
 When you hear a correct guess say ‘yes’ or give another signal.
 The team that guessed correctly will then chase the acting team back to the acting team’s safety
line. If anyone is tagged s/he joins the other team.
 Then the next team acts out their charade and the process is repeated.
Variation:
 You can also combine categories e.g. an animal doing a sport.
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Color Tag
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 1st -3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: Practice identifying colors and number sense
Skills Practiced: Following instructions, running, spatial awareness, safe tagging and jumping jacks
Equipment Needed: Anything with different colors (cones, hula hoops, bean bags, paper, etc).
Set-Up: A basketball court sized space. Evenly space cones on the outside of the boundaries.
Before You Start:
 Practice doing spelling jumping jacks, spelling out the colors you will be using.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review boundaries and rules, ask for questions.
 Choose 1-3 people to start as the taggers.
How to Play:
 Everyone moves within the boundaries trying to avoid the taggers.
 When you are tagged, you must run to the color designated by the tagger.
 Each time the tagger touches someone, s/he must say a color for that person to go to.
 Once you run to the color, you must spell it out while doing jumping jacks before coming back
in to the tag area.
Variations:
 Instead of colors, set up stations with numbers. You can set up stations with X number of bean
bags, and must perform counting jumping jacks.
 FIT KID- for older kids, you can set up Strength and Flexibility stations.
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Cones Conquest
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation
Skills Practiced: Evasion, safe tagging, and teamwork
Equipment Needed: 12 cones divided equally into 2 colors, additional cones to mark “zone”
Set-Up: Use a rectangular space with a center line. Set up one zone on opposite sides of the field, this
zone will be where players who get tagged can wait. Place 6 cones of one color on each side of the field.
Before You Start:
 Divide players into 2 teams. Assign each team to a side of the playing field.
 Make sure students understand all rules and know where the boundaries are located
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
Description:
 Each team is trying to bring the opposing teams’ cones to their side while keeping their own
cones safe on their side.
 You can only carry one cone of a single color at a time (if cones are green and blue, a player can
only carry one green and one blue at a time).
 If tagged while on the opposite side, the player must return the cones in his or her hands to where
they came from and then go to the waiting zone on the opposite side of the field from their team.
 Players can be released from the waiting zone by being tagged out by a teammate and get a free
walk back to their side.
 The game is over when one team has all of their cones plus the other team’s cones on their side.
Variation:
 Tagged players do not have to return the cones, they can leave the cones where they were tagged
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Don’t Get Caught with the Cookie
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop gross motor skills and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, communication, safe tagging and awareness
Equipment Needed: Enough balls for half of the students
Set-Up: A safe area with boundaries
Before You Start:
 Choose 2 students to be the taggers
 Give out balls (cookies) to other students
How to Play:
 Taggers are trying to tag all students who have possession of the ball (cookie)
 If you have the ball and get tagged, you must put the cookie back in the jar (a bag outside the
boundary area)
 Students can pass the cookies to each other to avoid getting tagged with the ball.
Variations:
 Limit the movement of players who have possession of the ball i.e., players can only take X
number of steps or players must remain still
 Limit the way in which players can pass the ball i.e., over hand, underhand, rolling,
girl/boy/girl/boy
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Dragon Tail
Group Size: 4-40
Age Group: K-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To learn tagging skills while working on teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Tagging, evasion, and teamwork.
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review where students should go when they’ve been tagged.
 Review how to safely and gently touch someone’s shoulders as part of the Dragon’s tail.
How to Play:
 One student, the Dragon, can only tag other students.
 When a student is tagged, s/he becomes part of the Dragon’s tail by gently placing their hands on
his/her shoulders and following him/her around the play area.
 The Dragon continues to tag students until everyone is part of the tail.
 It is important to play the first round walking, and work your way up to faster speeds depending
on students’ abilities at playing safely and the space available.
Variations:
 Allow the person at the end of the tail to tag students along with the Dragon
 For advanced groups, let everyone start off as a Dragon. When a Dragon is tagged he/she joins
the tail of the person who tagged him/her. Keep going until there is only one giant Dragon (works
a little like Ro-Sham-Bo Rockstar).
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Eagle and the Mouse
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To improve observation skills
Skills Practiced: Agility, running, safe tagging
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: Two lines 10-15 feet apart.
Before You Start:
 Form two lines (teams) of students, standing shoulder to shoulder with at least one arms length
between them. One team is standing on one of the lines, with their backs to other line (safe spot).
 Demonstrate using volunteers.
 Draw the students in by telling a story. A mouse been wandering in a field when it began
to smell the sent of an eagle. It could not see the eagle (which it knew liked to hide in
trees) but it knew the eagle was near by. So the mouse decided to remain very still so the
eagle would not see it. The eagle knew the mouse was very good at finding safe places to
hide from eagles so it also remained very still waiting for the right moment to pounce out
of the tree and go after the mouse.
 Make sure students know when they may move and where the safe spot is at.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
How to Play:
 Designate one team as the eagles who will remain very still until it has decided to go after the
mouse, but once it moves, even a little bit, the mouse can start running.
 The mouse cannot move until it sees the eagle move.
 The mouse wants to make it to a “safe” spot, the other line.
 Talk to the students about places that are safe and have them visualize safe places while
they are playing.
 As the students get better at getting to their safe spot, shorten the distance between the mouse and
the eagle.
Discussion Questions:
 Do you feel you have enough safe spots in you life?
 How hard was it to get to your safe spot?
 How could this game help you to be safe?
Variation:
 The Lizard and the Fly is basically the same game but instead of the students going from a
standing position they must both start from the ground on their backs. When the lizard starts to
move the fly can also get up and run.
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Elbow Tag
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, spatial awareness, running and safe tagging
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a playing area large enough to run in.
Before You Start:
 Have the group pair up with a partner.
 Partners should link arms at the elbows and have both hands on their hips.
 Ask for two volunteers and assign one of them to be it and the other to be the runner.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Have the students practice how to detach, who becomes the runner and who stays linked at the
elbow.
How to Play:
 The student who is “it” must try to tag the “runner’.
 The “runner” must find a pair of students and link arms at the elbow.
 The person on the other side of that pair detaches and is now being chased by the person who is
“it”.
 The new runner must then find another pair to link up with, in turn detaching another person.
 If the “runner” gets tagged before they can find someone to link elbows with, the “runner” then
becomes “it” and chases the other person.
 The “runner” must link to another pair within 5 seconds.
Variations:
 If the person who is “it” gets tired you can make the person who detaches from the pair become
“it”. This person will then be trying to tag the player that was just chasing the runner. This way
the person who is “it” is constantly changing every time someone links arms. It gets a little
confusing but it is very fun to play.
 The leader says “Switch” and the runner becomes “it”.
 Let both the runner and the tagger link elbows, so both have a chance to change, and more
students get to play.
 Allow all students the option to be linked to a partner. If you are unattached you can get tagged.
Any two unlinked players can decide to link together to be safe from getting tagged
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Everyone’s It
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Time of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination
Skills Practiced: Running, evading, safe tagging and counting
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Establish boundaries; a relatively small, safe area so that constant motion is encouraged
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Review the boundaries and the consequence for going outside them.
 Start over from zero,
 Perform 10 jumping jacks to get back in.
How to Play:
 The object is for students to tag and keep a running count of everyone they touch in three
minutes.
 No one is “it” and no one stops playing or “freezes” when tagged.
Variations:
 You can change the amount of time that the students play and the location of the boundaries.
 If a student is tagged it counts against her/his score.
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Fake Out
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop creative thinking
Skills Practiced: Evasion techniques, safe tagging, endurance and running
Equipment Needed: Two cones (more is there are no lines for boundaries).
Set-Up: Designate a rectangular play area large enough to run in. Place cones on each baseline (width).
Before You Start:
 Split group into two teams with each team lined up on opposite base lines. Have cones placed a
few feet behind the baseline marking where the single file line should start.
 Designate one side as the “Taggers” or “Defense” and the other side as the “Fakers” or the
“Offense.”
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Demonstrate how someone can move their body to “fake out” the person trying to tag them.
 Have a few students try it before you begin with the whole class.
 Make sure everyone knows which line is the “fakers” and which is the “taggers”, the roles of
each, where the boundaries are at and the importance of safety.
How to Play:
 The object is for the “faker” to run past the “tagger” and reach the opposite baseline without
getting tagged.
 The “faker” can move in any direction while making their fakes but must stay within the
boundaries.
 The “tagger” is trying to tag the “faker” with two hands.
 The first two people in each line begin the game by stepping into the playing area.
 The play is done when either the “faker” reaches the baseline or is tagged. In either case the
players switch lines each time. Make sure the class stays in a single file line a few feet away
from the baseline (not across the baseline) so the players do not run into each other.
Variations:
 If players are tagging safely, the boundaries can be increased and each side can have two or three
players go at the same time.
 Each “tagger” can get one or both of the “fakers.”
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Fox Hunt/Squirrel Scramble
Group Size: 20-50
Age Group: Grades 5-8
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop evasion skills and strategy.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, spatial awareness, endurance, running, and agility.
Equipment Needed: Cones, tape or chalk for boundaries
Set-Up:
 You need players to be trees, players to be squirrels (half of tree total plus a few) and a few
players to be the foxes.
 For a class size of 22, assign 12 kids to be trees.
 Each of those players will pair up with another to be one tree, which will give you 6 trees.
 There will be 8 squirrels. This is to create the problem of not enough trees for all the squirrels.
 There are also two foxes to catch those loose squirrels.
 For a group of 40, have 22 kids be trees giving you 11 trees, 14 squirrels, and 4 foxes.
Before You Start:
 Establish boundaries
 Demonstrate safe tagging
How to Play:
 The trees go out into the play area first.
 Two people become a tree by standing face to face and holding hands with arms raised over their
heads.
 Once the trees are into position, you send the squirrels out to find a home.
 A squirrel must stand underneath the raised arms to be in a tree.
 If a squirrel has no home he or she goes to another squirrels home and taps them on the shoulder.
 That squirrel must leave the home out the other side of the tree and find a new home.
 Give the squirrels a few minutes of establishing a cycle of tree swapping.
 Once this has been done, send in the foxes and they are to tag any loose squirrels.
 Those squirrels tagged either wait until the next round of play or do an exercise (jumping jacks,
push-ups, etc.)
 After a few squirrels are tagged, start to take away (cut down) trees thus making the game more
challenging.
Alternate Names of the Game: Squirrel Scramble
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Freeze Tag
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, running, body awareness, safe tagging and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Open area with boundaries
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review how to give a double high-5.
 Select two students to be ‘it.’
How to Play:
 To begin, the students spread out within the open area, and the leader designates what movement
everyone should be using (i.e. running, skipping, hopping, walking, etc.).
 If a student gets tagged, s/he immediately freezes
 To ‘unfreeze’ a player, another student must give the frozen person a double high-5.
 Neither student may be tagged while unfreezing someone and taggers cannot stand around
waiting for them to finish.
 The leader should switch taggers and styles of movement.
Variations:
 Tunnel Tag: When a student gets tagged, s/he freezes with their legs spread shoulder-width apart
on the ground. To ‘unfreeze’ a player, another student must crawl through the player’s legs from
the front.
 To unfreeze a player, another student must shake hands with the frozen player and both must
share their favorite cartoon, favorite food, what they want to be when they grow up, etc.
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Fruit Basket
Group Size: 10-35
Age Group: Grades 3rd-5th
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop spatial awareness and evasion techniques
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, safe tagging, endurance
Equipment Needed: Large rectangle area, Basketball court size
Before You Start:
 Line players up and count them off into four groups, Apples, Oranges, Bananas, Grapes or other
fruit if you prefer
 Have each fruit group line up on different sides of the rectangle. Along the sidelines and
baselines
 Review safe tagging techniques and consequences for not doing so
 Choose a volunteer or two to be Taggers, depending on group size
How to Play:
 The object is for players to safely cross the court without being tagged. Players on the sidelines
will only cross to the other sideline each round; likewise, players on the baselines will only cross
over to the other baseline
 The coach will call out any combination of fruit ie. APPLES, BANANAS! Etc.. Each team must
cross if their fruit is called. Coach may call out 1-4 fruits at a time or call out FRUIT BASKET
which means all four groups must cross at the same time
 If a player is tagged or makes contact with another fruit, they must turn into a Fruit Tree. They
are planted into the ground, not allowed to move, but still able to tag crossing fruits
 Last player who is not a Fruit Tree or tagger wins
 Stepping outside of the boundaries to avoid a tag automatically makes that player a Fruit Tree
Alternate Names of the Game:
 Car Lot – use car names instead of Fruits
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Fun in a Box
Group Size: 6-30 students
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and a sense of boundaries
Skills Practiced: Safe tagging, boundary awareness, and evasion
Equipment Needed: Two jerseys if desired
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Review safe, butterfly tagging.
 Identify the boundaries, and make sure you have a large playing area.
 Ask students if they are familiar with “The Cat in the Hat”. Also, if they know Thing 1 and
Thing 2.
 Go over how the game is going to work.
How to Play:
 Start the students on one of the boundaries. On a magic word or a whistle, have the students
move around the playing area (like a warm up). You can have them move however you wish,
though usually skipping or hopping.
 Have the students freeze, and spread students out a little if necessary.
 Randomly select two students to be Thing 1 and Thing 2. These are the only two students who
can move throughout the house. Preferably these two students can pretend to be flying kites.
 All of the other students are household items. They cannot move their feet, only their arms in
order to tag.
 If a household item tags Thing 1 or Thing 2, they switch roles.
Variations:
 Set up an obstacle course and divide the students into two teams – Things 1 and Things 2.
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Heads or Tails
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop active listening
Skills Practiced: Agility, running, evasion, and safe tagging
Equipment Needed: A coin
Set-Up: Set up an area with two far boundaries and a dividing line directly in the middle.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
How to Play:
 Divide the group so that everyone has a partner.
 Line all of the students up on the middle line, so that they are back to back with their partner.
 Designate one side as “Heads” and the other as “Tails.”
 Flip a coin, and announce to the students what side came up.
 If it comes up heads, all of the “Heads” students have to run back to their side before they are
tagged by their “Tails” partner. If “Tails” is called, the reverse happens.
 After each round, reset with partners back in the middle
Variations:
 The adult can announce “Heads” or “Tails” without a coin flip.
 To make the game more difficult, make the students run to the opposite side
 Could also play “Giants, Wizards, & Elves” style, where a student has to switch teams if s/he is
tagged. This would only work if there were no partners, and anyone could tag someone on the
opposite team.
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Hoop Scoot Tag
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop body and spatial awareness and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Running, evasion, safe tagging and agility
Equipment Needed: 5-9 hula-hoops and 2-3 tennis balls
Set-Up: Scatter the hoops in the play area several feet apart. Select players to be “it” and give them a
tennis ball to carry for identification.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review the boundaries and the consequences for going outside them
How to Play:
 The object is for players to run from one hoop to another without being tagged by an “it”
 Only three players can stand in a hoop at a time, and for no longer than five seconds
 If a player stands too long in a hoop an “it” can count the seconds and if after five seconds the
player hasn’t left the hoop he or she is automatically caught
 When an “it” tags a player the two switch roles and the tennis ball gets passed to the new “it” and
the game continues
Variations:
 You can make the play area smaller, and have less hula hoops to make it more difficult
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Joey Roundup
Group Size: 10-35
Age Group: Grades 1st-8th
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop body and special awareness
Skills Practiced: Evasion, hopping, safe tagging, endurance
Equipment Needed: 4 cones ( more if there are no lines or boundaries present ie. Basketball court)
Set-Up:
 Designate a large rectangular play area with clear boundaries with a small square inside the
middle of the rectangle.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging
 Review where to go if one gets tagged
 Demonstrate hopping technique
 Choose one or two volunteers (depending on group size) to be the Flyer or Boomer
 Split players onto two teams to start at each side of the rectangular play area
How to Play:
 The object is for the Joey’s (baby Kangaroo’s) to hop past momma or poppa Kangaroo
(Flyer/Boomer) and attempt to reach the other side of the play area without being tagged
 Flyers (female) and Boomers (male) are able to run while all Joeys must hop
 If a Joey gets tagged safely in the appropriate place, then he/she must now join the Flyer/Boomer
in rounding up the rest of the Joeys
Variations:
 All players must hop including The Flyer or Boomer
Alternate Names of the Game:
 Chickens and Hen
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Dinosaur Park
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop active listening skills and a sense of boundaries
Skills Practiced: Evasion, running, safe tagging, and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: One ball
Set-Up: Designate a clear playing area, designate a ‘Dinosaur’s Belly’ outside the playing area
Before You Start:
 Choose volunteers to be dinosaurs depending on group size and assign dinosaur names to these
volunteers, (tagasauras, danceasauras, jump jackasauras etc.)
 Review safe tagging techniques and consequences for not doing so.
 Make sure students know where the belly is and how to get back into the game.
How to Play:
 The game starts with a toss of the ball to one of the dinosaurs.
 Dinosaurs are supposed to pass the ball to one another. They are the only ones allowed to touch
the ball.
 The rest of the students are cave people, and they have to act out the movement/command of
whichever dinosaur has the ball at that time.
 If the cave people are caught not following the movement, or are tagged by the ‘tagasauras’, they
then get eaten by the dinosaur and have to go to the dinosaur’s belly.
 The cave people can be freed from the belly only if they chant the words “Drop that ball” and
then the dinosaur accidentally or purposefully (depending on how packed the belly is) drops the
ball.
 After a few minutes, assign new volunteer dinosaurs for a new round and ask them to create their
own dinosaur name this time.
Variations:
 Only allow a dinosaur to hold the ball for 5 seconds at a time. This gets the cave people moving
quicker.
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Magic Tag
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: K-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation
Skills Practiced: Agility, evasion and safe tagging
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for studends to run
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Demonstrate that when you get tagged you turn into a magic wand.
 Demonstrate how you turn the magic wand back into a person.
 Designate 3 magicians to start the game.
 Review the boundaries and the consequence for going outside them
 You automatically become a magic wand
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to avoid being tagged by the magicians who are trying to turn everyone
into magic wands.
 If you get tagged by the magician you turn into a magic wand and freeze.
 You stay a magic wand until two people join hands creating a circle around you and say
“Abracadabra!” to undo the spell.
 If you are not tagged you are avoiding the magicians and undoing the spell for the magic wands.
 Rotate the magicians so that everyone has a chance to be the magician.
Variation:
 You can make undoing the magic wand sillier with a dance and a song.
 Pre-K: Instead of joining hands to create a circle around a magic wand, two students must simply
shake hands and say the magic word, abracadabra, to undo the spell.
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Maze Tag
Group Size: 20-40
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness, evasion, safe tagging and agility
Equipment Needed: As many cones as students
Set-Up: Open area
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Set up all the cones in a grid formation (i.e. in a square or rectangle with cones an equal distance
away from each other).
 Use enough cones for all the students except the tagger and the runner.
 Choose one student to start as the tagger and one to start as the runner.
How to Play:
 Have all students other than the tagger and runner stand by a cone in the maze.
 On the leader’s signal, the tagger starts trying to tag the runner.
 To become part of the maze and avoid being tagged, the runner taps the shoulder of a student in
the maze, and takes his/her place by the cone.
 That student now becomes the runner, until s/he taps another students’ shoulder.
 If a student gets tagged before getting into the maze, s/he is now the tagger.
Variations:
 If the group is more advanced, eliminate the cones and have students hold their space in the maze
without a visual aid.
 When the leader calls “Switch”, the runner and tagger change rolls; the tagger becomes the runner
and the runner is now the tagger.
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Odds and Evens Tag
Group Size: 10 -30
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem-solving, cooperation, teamwork, conflict resolution, strategic
thinking, number sense, and math skills
Skills Practiced: Running, evasion, endurance, Ro Sham Bo, safe tagging, reflexes, and observation
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: This game is most easily played in a gym or a square space, or outside with two lines of cones on
the far ends of the playing area.
Before You Start:
 Introduce concept of odd and even numbers.
 Split the group into two teams and name one the even team and one the odd team.
 Review boundaries.
 Demonstrate safe tagging.
How to Play:
 The game is played by both teams walking into the middle of the playing area in a side by side
line, facing the opposite team.
 The leader calls out a math problem. If the answer is odd, then the odd team chases the even team
back to their side, and vice versa.
 If members from the even team can reach their side or safe area without being tagged by a
member of the odd team, they are safe. However, if you get tagged before you reach the safe area
then you become a member of the other team.
 The game concludes when all players are on one team.
Variations:
 The math problems can change based on the age of students. If playing with younger students,
call out a single number, and students run or chase based on whether it’s odd or even. For older
students, use more challenging math problems.
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Off the Ground Tag
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: All Ages
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop
Skills Practiced: Evasion, awareness, safe tagging and running
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Designate a large playing area
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Demonstrate what is considered “off the ground”
How to Play:
 Designate a chaser.
 During the game the chaser cannot tag another player if he or she is not on the ground (such as
standing on a bench or curb).
 A tagged player then joins the chaser until there are a few players left
Variation:

Players are safe if they are standing on a designated surface such as painted lines or anything
green.
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Shout Tag
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: All Ages
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop body and spatial awareness and listening
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, safe tagging and running
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to run and enough
items to be used as safe zones
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review what to do when you get tagged
Description:
 Designate a person who is “it”.
 The person who is “it” shouts out something that the other players must touch to be safe from
being tagged. For example: if “metal!” was shouted the other players must touch something near
by that is metal (fence, car, etc.). Others ideas to be shouted can include colors, other materials,
shapes, etc.
 Only one person can be safe at the same place at a time.
 If tagged then join the original “it” and jointly decide on another thing to shout.
Variation:
 Change the number of players at safe zone at a time
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Statue Tag
Group Size: 5-35
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop shape identification and verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Running, evasion, safe tagging, freezing and body awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Set up clear boundaries for play area. For smaller groups the play area needs to be smaller.
Before You Start:
 Review body shapes-wide, narrow, rounded, twisted, crooked, small, tall, pointed, flat and so on
with the students.
 Show students how to freeze versus moving and let them practice. Have a flag or a jersey for the
person who will be “it”.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Review what to do when tagged, and what to do when you go outside the boundary, being careful
not to run into other classmates.
How to Play:
 Assign a student to be “it” and put the jersey or flag on them.
 Students that go outside the boundaries become frozen.
 Be sure all students know who is “it”.
 Change the shape in which students must freeze as every round.
Variations:
 Students can become unfrozen through a particular action by another unfrozen player, i.e. when
tapped on the shoulder.
 For larger groups the leader can choose more people to be “it”.
 Vary the play area or have a time limit for “it” or “its” to freeze everyone as a challenge.
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Toe Touch Tag
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop hand-eye coordination, accuracy, teamwork, cooperation, verbal
communication and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Running, evading, throwing/sliding, spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Bean bags, cones or tape
Set-Up: Divide the playing field in half and designate two small “zones” on both sides to hold people
who are tagged.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into two teams
 Make sure all students understand all rules and know where the boundaries are located
 Demonstrate how to safely slide the bean bag to get your opponent out
How to Play:
 Each team tries to slide their bean bags to the other team’s side
 To get people out, you must hit an opponent’s foot with a bean bag
 If you are hit in the foot with a bean bag, you go to your opponent’s “jail” zone
 Teammates can free each other from jail if they can slide the bean bag into the jail zone
 You can block your opponent from getting a bean bag into the jail zone with your hands , but you
may not sit down to block
Variations:
If you do not have a surface where the bean bag can slide easily, students can lob the bean bag.
Students would then go to jail if they were hit from the knee down. Also, instead of having the
team slide the bean bag into the jail, you can have a crate next to the jail that they must lob it
into.
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Triangle Tag
Group Size: 4 -80
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking and verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Evasion, teamwork and safe tagging.
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a clear playing area
Before You Start:
 Divide students into groups of four with three of the four holding hands in a circle.
 Help players choose one of the three players holding hands to be the “runner”, the person to be
tagged.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
How to Play:
 The player outside the circle is the “tagger”, trying to tag the runner.
 The other two players holding hands in the circle will help to protect the designated runner by
moving the circle in different directions.
 The tagger cannot go inside the circle and s/he cannot lean on the arms of the people holding
hands. Once the tagger has tagged the runner, the positions change.
 Keep an eye on the play and make sure groups are changing positions.
Variation:
 Tornado Tag: Have the two players who are protecting the runner keep their eyes closed.
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Watch Your Back
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization skills
Skills Practiced: Evasion, spatial awareness, safe tagging and stamina.
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate a large play area with clear boundaries
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like a butterfly wings, on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Review the boundaries and the consequence for going outside them
 You automatically have to get on one knee
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to tag as many people as you can without getting tagged yourself
 If you do get tagged you take a mental picture of who tagged you and then drop one knee and
freeze.
 When the individual who tagged you gets tagged you can get up and start tagging again.
 Players must be honest if you get tagged to stop and take a knee.
Mid-Point Questions:
 Are people remembering who tagged them?
Variations:
 You can make the play area smaller to make it more difficult.
 You can make the students skip, hop, act like their favorite animal while tagging and evading.
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Where did it go?
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: All Ages
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Agility, evasion, awareness, safe tagging and running
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate seeking/hiding area and a base
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
How to Play:
 One person is designated as the person who is it and hides away from the group.
 The rest of the players stay at the designated “base” and sing “tell me where to go, tell me where
to go...” for 15 seconds.
 Then players go and search for the person who is it.
 Whoever finds the ‘it’ person hiding yells “It went over here!” and all the players away from base
must run back to base before being tagged by the ghost.
 Whoever was tagged becomes the next person to hide.
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Where the Wild Things Are
Group Size: 4-30 students
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination, creative thinking, and a sense of boundaries.
Skills Practiced: Safe tagging and boundary awareness
Equipment Needed: A large playing area and a jersey to identify Max
Set-Up:
 Have all of the students line up on one of the boundaries.
 Select one student to be “Max.”
Before You Start:
 Review safe, butterfly tagging
 Identify the boundaries
 Review a quick version of “Where the Wild Things Are” - ask students questions about the book.
 Review how Wild Things act (with their terrible teeth gnarling, their terrible claws showing, and
their terrible eyes rolling).
How to Play:
 King/Queen Max has arrived on a mysterious island filled with random creatures (who are
moving around the island however you wish – hopping, running, skipping, etc.).
 If Max tags a creature, s/he goes to the boundary and moves around the outside of the playing
area acting like a Wild Thing.
 Students also become Wild Things if they go outside of the boundary before being tagged.
Variations:
 Players could start out as Wild Things and can become tame creatures under the leadership of
Max when tagged. Tame creatures can then link arms to create a team, similar to blob tag.
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“Who Let the Dogs Out?”
Group Size: 5-50
Age Group: 1st-5th
Length of Activity: each round = 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To help kids gain a better understanding of spatial awareness and increase motor
function. Kids will also work on multi-tasking and good sporting behavior.
Skills Practiced: Running, Safe Tagging, Honesty
Equipment Needed: cones (# depends on however many “doghouses” you want to have)
Set-Up: Make sure you have a large open space that is safe for running
Before You Start:
 Pick 4 students to be the “dogs”
 Give each “dog” a cone and ask them to spread out and place their cone in a spot which will
become their “doghouse”
 Make sure all students know which “doghouse” belongs to which “dog”
 Remind kids how to tag safely (butterfly tag)
 Review boundary lines for the game
How to Play:
 Each “dog” is a tagger. Everyone else is a “cat” and is trying not to get caught by a “dog”
 If a “cat” gets tagged, then that student must go to the doghouse belonging to the dog that tagged
them. (A certain color cone)
 Each “dog” is trying to tag as many “cats” as he/she can
 A round is over when all “cats” have been sent to a “doghouse”
Variations:
 The more kids you have, the more “dogs” you can choose
 Instead of running: walk, walk heel/toe, animal walk, etc.
Alternate Names of the Game:
Cats & Dogs; Dog Pound
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Cooperative Games
Cooperative games are organized activities focused on having fun, team building, and often learning
important lessons. Cooperative games combine fun with active learning about problem solving,
communication style, decision-making and group dynamics. These games give children the chance to step
out of their usual mindset about winning and losing. Rather than measuring success by how much better
one group is than another, these games emphasize a whole group tackling a challenge together. Such
external challenges ask the individuals participating to look past their own self-interest and uncover the
joy of working together. Cooperative games are excellent for lower elementary students as sports skills
building and offer upper elementary students new ways to interact. They are also great for leveling the
playing field so all students can equally approach a physical movement activity.
As with any game, the leader begins with an explanation of the game to be played, the rules and the
boundaries. With cooperative games, the explanation includes both basic instructions as well as a verbal
highlighting of the theme for a particular game. Once the game has begun, the leader looks for
opportunities to stop the game action and to ask one or two pointed questions that will draw the attention
of the group back to this primary theme for the game. The leader asks for responses, then starts the game
again, re-emphasizing the theme. As the game closes, the leader is prepared with one more question to
challenge students to describe their experience playing together. A standard format for leading
cooperative games is to explain the game, start the action, stop and ask questions, re-start the action and
then finish the game with a bit of analysis.
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All Tangled Up
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication, cooperation, strategic thinking and problem
solving skills.
Skills Practiced: Body awareness and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Divide the students into small groups of up to twelve people and have them form a tight circle.
How to Play:
 The students take one hand and grab the hand of anyone in the group except the people standing
next to them.
 The students take their other hand and grab the hand of anyone in the group except the people
standing next to them and the person they are already holding hands with.
 The challenge is to get untangled without letting go of each other’s hands. Emphasize that getting
untangled requires a lot of communication and cooperation.
Mid-point questions:
 Is there anything about this game that is particularly difficult?
 Has anyone discovered any secrets that might help the rest of the group get untangled?
Closing questions:
 Was this game difficult?
 How did people feel when they found it hard to get untangled?
 Did anyone get tempted to cheat and just let go of a hand?
 Shall we try the game again and time ourselves to see how long it takes to get untangled?
Variations:
 Make the groups larger.
 Add restrictions to their communication methods.
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Ants on a Log
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking and cooperation
Skills Practiced: Balance, agility and body awareness
Equipment Needed: A designated line for the play
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Line up the students on a line.
 Number the students 1-10 (or depending on how many students are playing).
How to Play:
 Once the students are in line in specific order, the object of the game is to get the whole group to
switch positions on the line without falling off the line.
 If student #1 begins on the left end of the line, he or she should end up on the right end of the
line.
 The order of the students should remain exactly how it was before, only in reverse.
Mid-point questions:
 What are some ideas the group has discovered to help stay on the line?
 Is this game easy or hard?
Closing Questions:
 What is this game trying to teach?
 Can anyone think of a way to make this game better or more interesting?
Variations:
 Split the students into two groups.
 They should be standing on the line facing the other group.
 The object is to have the two groups switch places, staying in the same order.
 Vary the width of the line with a wider line being easier or vary the distance of the playing area
from the ground to add a challenge.
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Back-to-Back Get Up
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication, cooperation and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Balance and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Divide students into pairs
 Have students stand back to back
How to Play:
 Have partners cooperatively pressing their backs together and try to sit down, slowly
 Once everyone has sit down, have them try to stand back up still pressing backs together and
moving their feet close to their bottoms
Variation:
 Increase the size of the group working together
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Birds of Prey
Eyes closed
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes

Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation
and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Non-verbal communication,
awareness and reflexes
Eyes closed
Equipment Needed: A bandana and a quarter
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Divide the students into two equal teams.
 Have each team get into two single file lines holding hands with the teams facing each other.
 The leader stands at the front between the two lines.
 Place the bandana on the ground at the rear of the lines directly in between the two lines.
 Remind the students that they must keep their eyes shut and remain silent.
How to Play:
 Flip a quarter. Only the first players in each line can watch to see if it is heads or tails.
 The rest of the players must have their eyes closed.
 If the quarter shows ‘heads,’ the players at the front send a squeeze (or pulse) down the line,
which should reach the end of the line.
 When the squeeze reaches the back player, he or she tries to pick up the bandana first.
 Whichever team wins the bandana, the player in the front moves to the back of the line and the
players rotate forward.
 If the coin is tails, no action happens. The leader just flips the coin again.
 The player who began the game at the front of the line reaches the front again.
Closing Questions:
 What is this game trying to teach?
 Did anyone learn any secrets during the course of the game to make it go more smoothly?
 What positions did people like the best?
Variations:
 Play sitting down.
 Have a different signal to pass back.
 If a player sends a pulse when the leader does not show heads, the player at the back returns to
the front of the line, making the game more challenging and longer.
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Blindfold Building
Group Size: 4-30
Age Group: 5th grade
Length of Activity 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop communication, leadership and problem solving skills.
Skills Practiced: Following directions and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Enough ropes for each group to have one long enough for every person to hold on
with two hands, and blindfolds for each person.
Before You Start:
 Help the group pick a representative who will be the only one who can ask the three questions
during the game.
 Have your group begin in a straight line, blindfold them and lay a rope out by their feet.
 Make sure everyone understands the game and its rules.
How to Play:
 On your signal the students attempt to pick up the rope at their feet.
 Hands must remain on the rope; they may not let go of the rope for more than 2 seconds.
 Instruct the students to form a shape (square, triangle, circle, etc).
 Through their representative students may ask the leader three questions during the game.
 The leader will repeat the question so that everyone can hear and then give the answer.
 When the group feels they have completed the task have them drop the rope at their feet and take
a step back.
 Ask the group if they think they have successfully made their shape.
 After you get all of their answers, have them remove their blindfolds.
Mid-point questions:
 What are the challenges of this game so far?
 Has anyone discovered anything that might help anyone else?
 What could you do to make the game move more smoothly?
Closing questions:
 What are the skills this game is trying to teach?
 Did you learn anything about yourself while playing this game?
 What might you do to change the game to make it better?
Variations:
 For more advanced groups place the rope bunched up about 10 feet away from the group and
have them find the rope first, then form their shape.
 Give the students a time limit.
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Bridge Ball
Group Size: 10-30 players
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goals: To improve hand-eye coordination and strategic play
Skills Practiced: Hand-eye, blocking
Equipment Needed: 1 or 2 playground balls
Set-Up: Have students stand in a circle, foot to foot. Their legs should be slightly more than shoulder
width apart, forming a “bridge.” Have students get into ready position with their hands on their knees.
Before You Start:
 Make sure students know not to reach in front of others in order to get the ball!
How to Play:
 The object of the game is for players to try to hit the ball between other players’ bridges and
block balls from coming through their own bridges. Players get a letter in the word “bridge” each
time the ball goes through their legs. Once a player has spelled bridge, the game restarts.
 Players may only hit the ball with an open palm (as with 4-square and monkey soccer). No
throwing.
 They may catch the ball if it is head height. They must then hit the ball back into play.
 If a ball goes outside the circle, the player closest to it when it went out may go and get it.
 If the ball goes between a player’s legs, she gets a letter toward the word bridge. That player may
go get the ball and hit it back in play.
Variations:
 Instead of spelling bridge, players can turn around and play backwards once the ball has gone
through their legs 1x, 2x, or however many times you decide.
 Add a ball or two once students know how to play.
 Put a player in the middle of the circle to keep the game moving faster.
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Bubbles
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation skills and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Awareness and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: One or two beach balls
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Spread out students in an open playing area sitting on the ground.
 Talk about safety and demonstrate how to avoid contact with each other.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to keep the ball up as long as possible by hitting the ball in the air.
 Students should call the ball by saying “I got it!”
 Students can only hit the ball one time in a row.
 Students must remain on the ground.
 They can use any part of their bodies to hit the ball.
 To challenge them, talk about setting a school record.
.
Variations:
 Add another beach ball.
 For more advanced groups, add on more challenges such as going in sequential order and/or
seeing how many hits they can get in one minute without dropping the ball or going out of order.
 Once students understand the concept of positions, being responsible for the area around them
and not intruding on the space of other students, you may allow them to stand up and play.
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Castle Ball
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: Grades 3-8
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To practice working together as a team while playing both offense and defense.
Skills Practiced: Running, accuracy, hand eye coordination and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: colored jerseys, cones, hula hoops soft foam balls
Set-Up:
 Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to run
 Castle Ball is like building a “house of cards” out of 4 to 6 hula hoops or cones.
 The structure will stand on its own but will fall when a ball strikes any part of it.
 To build the castle teams place one hoop on the floor, four hoops form the sides, and on the top.
Before You Start:


Split group into 2 teams
Use cones to delineate boundaries
How to Play:
 Try to knock down the castle of the other team, while protecting your own.
 One is point is awarded each time a castle is knocked down, even if a player bumps into his/her
own castle.
 Castles that are knocked down should be set up as quickly as possible so players can continue
playing.
 The game is separated by a center line, which players cannot cross to retrieve a ball.
 It is also best to have a throwing line inside each teams are to make sure all balls are thrown from
the same distance.
 Teams are not to throw at castles inside of that line.
 Players should be encouraged to pass the ball to teammates to surprise the defenders or to make
sure everyone gets to throw the ball.
 In defending the castle, players should be alert, on the balls of their feet, and cooperate with their
teammates to form strategies that will best defend their “castles”.
 Once a castle is knocked down a new round is started.
Variations:
 Depending on the space available have many games going on at the same time. It works best
when teams are 3-on-3 and no more than 4-on-4.
 Add an additional ball
Alternate Names of the Game: Sandcastle
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Chair Game
Group Size: 6-20
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, non-verbal communication, and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Agility, evasion, and body and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: An equal number of chairs to the number of participants
Set-Up: Inside, have all students bring a chair and arrange them in a close circle with no gaps.
Before You Start:
 Review safety rules (no diving, no head first lunges, one person to a chair)
How to Play:
 Every participant should start seated in a chair in a circle.
 The leader chooses one student to stand in the middle, so one chair is open.
 The goal of the person in the middle is to sit in the empty chair.
 All seated students must work together to stop the person in the middle from sitting in the open
chair. Someone next to the empty seat tries to beat the person in the middle to it by shuffling
over, creating a new empty seat.
 The game continues until the person in the middle makes it safely to the open seat. The facilitator
then picks someone new to go into the middle.
Variations:
 Instead of chairs, have players stand on cones (safer, can be played outdoors).
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Charades Relay
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop non-verbal communication, social comfort and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Body awareness and pantomiming
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up:
 Divide group into 2 or more teams
 Have the group spread out so that they cannot overhear the surrounding teams
Before You Start:
 Review basics of charades. One person will act out a word or phrase without speaking while the
team is trying to guess. Show an example
How to Play:
 A charades race and the categories are Fast Food, Electrical Appliances, and Cartoon Heroes.
Teams compete against each other to trying to be the first to guess all items on the list.
 To start ask one member from each team to come to you. Whisper the first word into their ear and
return them to their group to being acting it out.
 Once a member of the group guesses the word correctly, someone new runs to the instructor for
the next word. No one can come up twice until everyone has acted out an item from the list.
 The new member must tell the instructor the word they just guessed to receive the next word from
the list.
 The game is over once a team completes the entire list
Sample List:
1. Superman
3. Storm
5. In n Out
7. Incredible Hulk
9. Milk Shake
11. Batman
13. Ipod
15. Captain America
17. Wii
19. Onion Rings
2. Curly Fries
4. Blender
6. Blow Dryer
8. Dishwasher
10. McNuggets
12. Scooby Doo
14. KFC
16. Taco
18. Wonder Woman
20. Computer
Alternate Names: FFEACH
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C’mon In and Sit Down
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To build teamwork and cooperation.
Skills Practiced: Verbal communication and strategic thinking
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Have students form a circle, holding hands.
 Students let go hands and make a quarter turn to the right so that everyone’s left shoulder is
pointing to the middle of the circle and their eyes are on the back of the person in front of them.
 Have the group take a couple side-steps towards the center of the circle so that everyone is nice
and snug.
 Make sure everyone is standing close together and listening for the count of three.
How to Play:
 Once everyone is in position, the leader explains that on the count of three everyone should sit
down on the knees of the person behind them.
 If it is successful, everyone should be sitting comfortably on someone else’s knees.
Variation:
 For older kids, try walking together if the circle is tight. As the challenge gets easier, add more
people to the circle and ask the children if they have any ideas to make it more difficult.
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Crooked Circle
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: Working with a group to meet a challenge.
Skills Practiced: Trust.
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: None.
Before You Start:
 Have students form a circle. Number off by 1’s and 2’s.
 Explain that the game is a challenge and discuss the concept of ‘trust.’
 Designate a signal to start.
 Make sure students are holding hands and remember their numbers.
 Emphasize the importance of holding hands firmly but not painfully.
How to Play:
 The students hold hands and when you give the signal, the 1’s lean forward and the 2’s lean
backward. The challenge is to keep holding hands and get balanced while half the group is
leaning back and the other half forward.
 Once the group has managed to balance, bring them back to center and change roles.
 If the group has switched roles successfully, challenge them to do it with their eyes shut.
 Discuss how ‘trust’ played a role in the game.
Variations:
 Play it in a straight line with the ends standing straight.
 Put bean bags on their heads and challenge the team to not drop one while switching.
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Disco Inferno
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: Grades 6-8
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To have students work together to solve a problem.
Skills Practiced: Team Building, dexterity
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Have a small group of students hold hands in a straight line, all facing in the same direction.
 The person at the end puts their hand up against a wall or holds onto a pole.
How to Play:
 The task is for everyone, including the person with their hand around the pole or up against the
wall, to end up with their arms folded across their chest.
 None of the students can let go of their hands and the person at the end must keep hand on the
wall or pole.
 Give students plenty of time to discuss possible strategies and solutions.
Strategies:
 One solution to this problem is that the end person who is free to move, leads the entire group
under the arm of the person attached to the pole or wall. This end person continues to lead the
group under the wall person's arm again and again until everyone has their arms crossed. Finally
the end person turns and faces the opposite direction w/o taking their arm off of the wall (this
crosses their arms).
 Another possible solution is to have the person at the end put their inside arm on the wall and
have the rest of the line grab the inside arm of the person next to them.
Alternate Names of the Game: Twisted People
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Dog Chases Its Tail
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: All Ages
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop communication, cooperation and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Agility and body awareness
Equipment Needed: Bandana
Set-Up: Set up a clearly designated play area
Before You Start:
 Have players line up holding each other around the waist. (DO NOT allow kids to hook fingers
through belts or belt loops).
 Remind students not to run, only speed walk
Description:
 Have the last player tuck a bandana in his or her pocket so that it hangs down like a tail.
 Next, the front of the line begins to chase the end of the line, attempting to grab the bandana.
 Players in the middle can help or hinder the head or tail, depending on their whims. If the line
breaks, the player who let go must step out, shortening the line.
Variation:
 Set up two lines of players, creating two dogs that can chase each other’s tails.
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Dress Me
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: 2nd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem solving skills, cooperation, teamwork, verbal
communication, and social comfort.
Skills Practiced: Body awareness and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: Two oversized short-sleeved shirts
Set-Up: Two teams of equal number each with a designated area
Before You Start:
 Be sure students understand the rules.
How to Play:
 Divide students into two groups.
 Give each group an oversized T-shirt.
 Have one student from each team put the shirt on and then hold hands with another player on
his/her team.
 The other members of the team have to then move the shirt from the first player onto the other.
(Eventually they will realize that the shirt must be turned inside out for this to work. It also might
help to have only one or two people transfer the shirt, for example the next players in line, but the
other team members may instruct.)
 The player who is now wearing the shirt then takes the hands of a different player and the first
player helps the rest of the team transfer the shirt.
 This continues until each member of the team has worn the shirt.
 The first team to transfer the shirt onto every member of them team wins.
Variations
 This can be played with just one group instead of competing groups.
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Fox and the Rabbit
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: ,Awareness and tactile development
Equipment Needed: Two balls of different size and/or color
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Have the group form a circle.
 Hand the balls out to two people on opposite sides of the circle.
 Designate which ball is the fox and which is the rabbit.
 Explain that each ball is like a hot potato and should not be held for more than one second.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is for the fox to catch the rabbit.
 Both the fox and the rabbit move by being passed (not thrown) around the circle in any direction.
 If a student is holding the fox they should pass the ball to the person next to them, whomever is
closer to the rabbit. Those players holding the rabbit should pass to someone farther away from
the fox.
 When the fox catches the rabbit start a new round
Variations:
 For younger groups start, with a Hot Potato warm up, giving them the basic idea of how to
receive the ball and get rid of it quickly.
 If the group can’t catch the rabbit, add an extra fox to the game.
 Add multiple balls and see if they can cross over each other.
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Giants, Wizards, Elves
Group Size: 12-50
Age Group: 3rd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and group decision-making capacity
Skills Practiced: Verbal communication, quick reflexes, running and safe tagging
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Have clearly designated boundaries at the back and the sides of the play area, evenly distanced
from a middle line.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate movement and sound for each main character in the game:
 The giant stands up tall with hands raised over the head and says, “Aaargh!”
 The wizard stands with one foot in front of the other, arms extended toward the front with the
fingers wiggling and makes the sound, “Hissssss!”
 The elves squat down and move from side to side with their arms waving about and make the
sound that comes when you blow air out of your lips.
 Have the whole group practice each of the movements and sounds.
 Explain which character wins over which: giant wins over wizard, wizard wins over elf, and elf
wins over giant.
 Demonstrate safe tagging.
 Light touch, like butterfly wings, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Number teams by 1’s and 2’s and put each team on opposite sides of the middle line.
How to Play:
 Each team huddles up on their side of the play area and chooses a first and second choice of a
character to be.
 The play begins when each team moves to the middle line and the leader yells, “One, two, three,
what’s it gong to be?” Each team flashes their first choice. Whichever team has the dominant
character chases the other team back to their rear boundary line.
 Anyone who is tagged before getting to that rear line becomes part of the opposite team.
 Explain also that if both teams choose the same first choice, the leader calls out the signal phrase
and the teams change to their second choice. If they choose the same second choice, the teams
regroup and pick two more.
Variation:
 Use three different objects, movements, and sounds. Possible options include:
baseball/football/basketball with the sounds, ‘steerike’, ‘huthuthuthut’ and ‘swooooooooosh’ or
Lions, Tigers and Bears with roars, growls and snuffles.
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Hula Hoop Challenge
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Coordination, body awareness
Equipment Needed: 2 Hula-Hoops
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Have students form a circle, holding hands.
 Demonstrate to the group how to get through the hula-hoop without using hands.
 Make sure students are in a circle holding hands.
How to Play:
 Place the hula-hoop in between two people’s interlocked hands.
 Explain that the goal of the game is to get the hula-hoop all the way around the circle without
anyone letting go of their teammate’s hands.
Closing Questions:
 What is the game trying to teach?
 Do you think you improved as the group practiced more times?
 What was fun about the game?
 Were you frustrated at any point during the game?
Variations:
 Have the group beat a chosen time.
 Play with their eyes shut.
 Divide group in two circles and have them compete.
 Pre-K: Have students stand in a circle with plenty of room between them. Start by walking
around the circle with the hula hoop, helping each student practice going through it. Then set up
the challenge without holding hands, simply going through the hoop, then passing it over to the
next person. After they have done this successfully many times, have them try it holding hands.
Adult should walk along with the hoop, helping students as needed.
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Invent a Game
Group Size: 4-50
Age Group: 3rd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop creativity and group decision-making capacity.
Skills Practiced: Brainstorming, planning, leadership and creative thinking.
Equipment Needed: A range of sports equipment - hula hoops, balls, cones, ropes, etc.
Set-Up: Divide sports equipment up into piles based on the amount of groups playing.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into teams and place them with a pile of equipment.
 If needed, give groups examples of game ideas to get them started.
 Make sure each group has enough room to make up and practice their game.
How to Play:
 Students will use all the equipment in their pile to make up their own game.
 They need to establish boundaries, rules, equipment use and any other specific information for
their game.
 Students choose a name for their game and prepare to teach their game to the other groups.
 The groups take turns teaching and playing each of their invented games.
Variations:
 Change the group size to increase the communication challenge.
 Limit the types of equipment to increase the creativity challenge.
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Key Punch
Group Size: 6-30
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 20-45 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem-solving, teamwork, eye-foot coordination, and
communication
Skills Practiced: Body and spatial awareness and observation
Equipment Needed: 25 sequentially numbered paper plates (or other number markers) and chalk or tape
to mark off the playing area.
Set-Up: Make a 4x6 (approx.) rectangle with tape or chalk. Place the 25 numbered plates randomly
inside.
Before You Start:
 Allow teams a few minutes to strategize after the rules are explained.
How to Play:
 Divide group into teams (groups of 5-7 work best).
 Each group has to touch the plates in order from 1-25 as fast as they can. The coach will keep
track of the total time of each attempt.
 Five second penalties are given each time two people are inside of the rectangle at the same time
and when a plate is touched out of order.
 Have each team set a goal time. Time each attempt, alternating between teams, but allow time to
give each team 2-3 attempts. Allow shorter times to strategize between each attempt.
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Knock Down
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd & up
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking, teamwork skills
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: 4-10 triangular cones (not the little cones), little cones for a center line, a variety of
dodgeballs (3-5)
Set-Up:
 Create a designated playing area
 Place the little cones aross the center of the playing area to separate the 2 teams
 About 5 ft from either end of the boundary lines, place a row of 2-5 large cones evenly spaced
apart
Before You Start:
 Split students into even teams; make sure each team knows which side is their side
 Review boundary lines, and no crossing of the center line
How to Play:
 Object of the game is the knock down all of your opponents’ large cones before they do the same
ot you.
 Students may not cross the center line while throwing or to retrieve a ball
 Each team is allowed to have one person at EACH cone that protects only that same cone,
however, they are not allowed to touch the cone. They can only deflect the balls from hitting the
cone.
 If someone accidently knocks over their own cone, it remains down.
 Once all cones are knocked down on one side, the game is over.
Variations:
If there are too many players in a small area or the game is going too slowly you can add in the
element of dodgeball. In addition to knocking over the cones players can also knock out
opponents by hitting them with the ball from the waist down. If hit you must step out of the game
until someone from your team catches a ball in the air or until 10 jumping jacks is done etc.
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Knots on a Rope
Group Size: 5- 30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem-solving, leadership, cooperation, teamwork and strategic
thinking skills.
Skills Practiced: Balance, body awareness and following directions
Equipment Needed: Rope(s)
Set-Up: Open area
Before You Start:
 Tie several evenly spaced knots into the rope(s).
 Have the students grasp the rope between knots with one hand, spacing themselves evenly.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to get the knots out of the rope, without ever moving or taking the one
hand off of the rope.
 Students cannot switch hands.
Variations:
 After a group has succeeded at the activity, give them a time limit, increase the number of knots,
or make the knots more complicated to untangle.
 Blindfold a few members of the group (to enhance verbal communication and teamwork).
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Magic Bubble Machine
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: 3rd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To build cooperation, teamwork and verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Sensory awareness.
Equipment Needed: Beanbags or other soft, squishy items (one per two students), blind-folds
Set-Up: A basketball court or similar space
Before You Start:
 Pair the students up
 Explain that they have been transformed into Magic Bubble Machines! The Magic Bubble
Machine will only work if they act as a team.
 One person will be the Bubble Spitter who is blind folded and cannot see.
 The other person is the Driver who must direct the Bubble Spitter where to go and throw
 Have each pair decide who will be the Bubble Spitter and who will be the Driver
How to Play:
 The object is for the Bubble Spitter to hit other Bubble Spitters with a bubble (bean bag), while
avoiding being hit themselves.
 The Driver must direct their Bubble Spitter to help them hit other Bubble Spitter or avoid being
hit. The Bubble Spitter cannot move without being directed by the Driver.
 The Driver must also direct the Bubble Spitter to pick up bubbles on the ground.
 When a Bubble Spitter is hit, both the Bubble Spitter and the Driver move to the sideline where
they can now see the other Bubble Machines and distract them by also calling out directions!
Variations:
 Make teams of 4 or 5 people. Each team links up by places their hands on the shoulder of the
person in front of them. The Driver is the last person in the chain and everyone else is
blindfolded. The Bubble Spitter is the person in the front of the chain.
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Maze Game
Group Size: 12 per maze
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Problem solving, communication, memorization
teamwork.
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Equipment Needed: One maze per twelve students that is 5’x5’
square, set of markers.
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Set-Up: Have the maze set up with a designated ‘start’ and ‘end.’
 Create a map of the correct path the students must travel.
Before You Start:
 Number students 1-12.
 Remind students that this is a silent game.
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How to Play:
 Students must stay silent for the whole game.
 Tell students there is a hidden path from the start to the end of the maze.
 Point these two spots out.
 As a group, their goal is to find the secret path and get everyone from start to end.
 Students take turns according to their number and gets a chance to guess where the path is.
 When it is their turn, they will step into the maze at the start and begin to choose an adjacent
square - either forward, to the side or diagonal to the one they are standing on.
 The student may look to his/her classmates for help.
 Classmates may signal silently, but may not use facial expressions:
 Yes- by giving a thumbs up,
 Maybe- by giving thumbs in the middle or
 No- by giving a thumbs down.
 If the square they have stepped into is on the path, let them know by saying “Yes.” If it is a
square that is not on the path, tell them “No.” Or use silent signals, too.
 Students continue their turn if they are right.
 Once they step into an incorrect square, it is the next person’s turn.
 As they begin to discover the path, they can mark it with markers to help the rest of the group.
 Once they have uncovered the secret path, each person needs to go through from start to end.
Variations:
 Squares can be repeated in the course of the path.
 Do not inform students of the markers, just have them by the side of the maze and see if they
notice.
 Let students make up their own silent signals instead of using the thumb method.
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One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
Group Size: 10-35
Age Group: 1st grade through adulthood
Length of Activity: 10 – 15 minutes (usually with a planning break in the middle)
Developmental Goal: problem-solving, leadership, cooperation, teamwork, non-verbal communication,
verbal communication, conflict resolution, eye-hand coordination, strategic thinking, planning, creative
thinking, listening to directions,
Skills Practiced: balance, agility, body and spatial awareness, throwing, catching, running, following
directions, reflexes
Equipment Needed: A rubber chicken, stuffed animal, cone or other small, throw-able object
Set-Up: A visible starting line marked by cones, paint or surface differences.
Before You Start:
 Students will be lined up on the starting line.
 The object (rubber chicken) is placed a distance in front of the starting line.
How to Play:
 The adult stands behind the object facing the students.
 The adult turns around with the students behind the adult and loudly says, “One Fish, Two Fish,
Red Fish, Blue Fish”
 The students may only move while the adult is turned the other way and is speaking the phrase.
 When the adult finishes “blue fish”, s/he turns around and all the students must freeze.
 If any of the students are moving after “blue fish,” the whole group goes back to the line.
 If no students are caught moving, the adult turns around again and loudly says, “One Fish, Two
Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish” and the students can move from their current spot.
 Once students get close enough to take the object from behind the adult, the students then hide it
behind their backs so the adult does not know which student has the object.
 Students still may only move during the phrase, but once the object is taken, the adult gets to
guess who has the object. (One guess per roughly 8 students.)
 If the adult guesses correctly, the object is returned and the students start over at the line.
 After incorrect guesses, the students continue moving during the phrase.
 The object is for the students to get the object back to their starting line without the adult
guessing who has it.
 Each freeze, a different student must have the object.
Variations:
 Adjust how the students move; skipping, hopping, backwards, heel-to-toe
 Set a number of how many people must hold the object
 Increase the distance (to lengthen game and give more opportunities)
 No throwing the object (to increase complexity)
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Over Under
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Running, passing and receiving.
Equipment Needed: One ball per team (teams of 8-10 students)
Set-Up: Designate a start and finish line
Before You Start:
 Have students line up behind each other in groups of 8-10, spreading out one arm’s length
distance apart.
 Demonstrate how to pass the ball over someone’s head then under someone’s legs.
 Give the person in front of the line a ball.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is for the group to pass back the ball either over their head or under their
legs, alternating methods with each person (first person passes over their head, second person
passes under their legs, third person over their head, and so on).
 When the last person in line gets the ball, he or she runs/skips/jumps/etc. to the front of the line
and starts passing the ball back again.
 Play until the students reach a finishing point (the line should have moved up with each new start)
or until a specific number of turns.
Variations:
 Have students shut their eyes while they are passing and receiving.
 Play with a basketball where the players must take (or make!) a shot at a basket before returning
to the front of the line.
 Add dribbling challenges such as left/right hand only or pivoting before passing the ball back.
 Play with a soccer ball with similar challenges.
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Picket Fences
Group Size: 12-40
Age Group: 1st-8th grades
Lengh of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, listening, and leadership skills.
Skills Practiced: Running, coordination, and body and spatial awareness.
Equipment Needed: Large area with a wall or fence at one end of it, colored half cones or poly dots to
mark starting points for teams.
Set Up:
 Create teams, and use as many different colored half cones or poly dots there are as teams (one
class should have just two teams; a group larger than 30 should have three teams).
 Set the cones/dots side by side about 10 feet apart from each other and at least 100 feet from the
wall or fence.
Before You Start:
 Explain that this game is a relay race.
 Do a demonstration with three or four of the students (with you being the first player running to
the wall/fence and then guiding the student through). Remind students to keep their arms
extended in the fence/chain so that the next person can run more easily under them.
 Divide the students into two or more teams (there should be at least six students per team). If you
have an orange and a purple half cone/poly dot out, for example, divide the students by “OrangePurple” so they know which cone or dot to line up behind)
 At the start of game, each team should be lined up behind their cone facing the wall/fence
How To Play:
 On the coach’s whistle, the first person from each team runs to the wall/fence.
 Once the first person gets to the wall, s/he puts their hand to it, keeping a space between the wall
and his/her body by extending their arm out to touch the wall. They then wave to the next person
with their free hand to signal that the next person may now run now.
 The second person in line advances and runs under the first person’s arm (in between the wall and
the first person’s body) and then connects to their extended hand on the other side. Once
connected, s/he waves to the next person in line with his/her free hand.
 The third person in line advances and runs in between the first person and the wall, then under
and in between the arms of the first and second person, and then connects to the second person’s
extended hand. S/he then waves to the next person in line.
 The race continues with each player running under and in between each students’ arms until the
last person on each team is connected to the end of the “picket fence” or “people chain.” The
fence/chain should look like this:
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Pizza Delivery
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork and verbal communication.
Skills Practiced: Balance, agility, running, pacing and following directions
Equipment Needed: Hula hoops and bean bags
Set-Up: Designate a staring line and a delivery spot.
Before You Start:
 Divide the students into groups of 4-5.
 Give each group a hula hoop.
 Model how to safely run with someone inside the hula hoop – everyone facing forward,
communicating, and working as a team.
How to Play:
 The object is to deliver all the bean bags (pizzas) to the delivery spot.
 One student begins as the ‘pizza,’ by standing in the middle of the hula hoop with a bean bag..
 The other students begin as runners and hold onto the outside of the hula hoop.
 The team runs the pizza to the delivery spot and places the bean bag on the ground before going
back to the starting line.
 Once they return from the first trip, the team switches the student that is the pizza, and makes
another delivery run.
 This continues until all students have had a chance to be the pizza or until all bean bags are
delivered.
Variation:
 For more advanced groups challenge them by:
 having them speed walk backwards,
 making the pizza balance the bean bag on his/her head during any forward movement,
 have the pizza blindfolded so that the runners have to communicate to the pizza on what
to do.
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Quarter Football
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, listening, cooperation and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness, running, agility and evasion
Equipment Needed: A quarter or any small object that will fit inside a fist
Set-Up: A football field or a rectangle with two end zones.
Before You Start:
 Divide the students into two teams
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
How to Play:
 Each team gets 4 tries/downs to move the quarter from one end zone to the other.
 The offensive team huddles up and chooses one student to hold the quarter.
 Both teams line up facing each other, standing shoulder to shoulder behind their
respective end zones.
 The Coach or any offensive player says “hike” or “go”, and the offensive team tries to get
into the end zone, while the defense tries to safely tag all the offensive players.
 Once tagged, offensive players must freeze where they are. When everyone on the
offensive team has been tagged or made it to the end zone, the player with the quarter
raises their hand.
 If the player with the quarter makes it to the end zone without being tagged, it is a point
and a turnover to the other team.
 If the player with the quarter is tagged another round/down is played. The offensive team
lines up for their next try at the yard line where the player with the quarter was tagged.
 The offensive team can huddle and secretly change who is carrying the quarter each
round/down.
 The defensive team lines up behind their end zone for every round/down.
 If a touchdown is not scored within four downs, it is an automatic turnover and the other
team gets four tries from the where the last team ended.
 If a touchdown is scored, the defensive team gets to start with the quarter from the end
zone.
Variation:
 Allow the offense only 3 tries for a shorter field
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Relay Lock Race
Group Size: 6-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork, and eye-foot coordination
Skills Practiced: Balance, and body and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: To be played in large, open area
Before You Start:
 Divide students into groups of 5-8 and line them up on the far end of the area.
How to Play:
 The first two students in each line stand back-to-back and interlock both arms.
 Without letting go, both students must make their way to the opposite end of the playing area and
back as fast as they can.
 Once the first two get back to line, the next two in line must go in the same manner.
 The game runs continuously until the adult stops it, so there are no winners or losers.
Variations:
 Place obstacles to make the challenge more difficult.
 Start everyone at the same place and time so that it is a race instead of a relay (for a field day
event).
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Run & Rally
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Goal: To develop active listening capability, cooperation, teamwork and problem solving.
Skills Practiced: Verbal communication, listening, quick reflexes and running
Equipment Needed: Cones (one per team)
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Talk about safety and demonstrate how to avoid contact with each other.
 Remind students to remain with original team.
 Review the boundaries.
 Divide the group equally into two or three teams.
 Have each team line up in a single file line behind their assigned cone
How to Play:
 On your command, “On the signal ‘run’ you need to touch something yellow…ready? Run!”
everyone on all the teams must complete the assigned task and return to their starting line
formation.
 When the players are starting to return to their line, call out “Rally!” and assign a line formation
that the teams must make (i.e. line up by height, tallest to shortest).
Variations:
 Challenge team to play the game without talking
 Have players touch two or more objects before returning
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School Olympics
*This is a great event to do at the end of the year to get kids re-motivated and the Program Coordinator remotivated and really excited.
Group Size: The whole school!
Age Group: K-8th grades, vary activities according to age
Length of Activity: Preparation for a month, 1-2 day event
Developmental Goal: To develop a sense of community, work as a team, have fun while being
competitive and learn to work toward a goal.
Skills Practiced: Tons! (Depends on the activities you choose)
Equipment Needed: Balls, cones, books, ropes, hula-hoops, signs to get kids excited about their
teams
Set-Up:
 Choose events and announce the date of the Olympics.
 Plan out the logistics of the Olympic day. Be sure you have helpers to run multiple
events, inform them of their duties and the rules, create a schedule of events, make
awards for all participants (if possible).
 Make sure event locations are safe and free of debris.
Before the Olympics:
 Divide each class in the school into two country-named teams and announce them.
 A month or so before the day of the Olympics, teach the classes all the events in Class
Game Time and have them practice the events in their actual teams all the way up to the
actual event (this builds excitement and lets students feel “professional” in their events).
 Build excitement around the Olympics, posters and practice areas at recess and so on.
 Encourage teachers to have their students make big flags and/or miniature flags they can
pin onto their clothing. They can also make headbands with a country symbol.
 Hold a training for your Junior Coaches to help you on Olympics day by cheering on
teams and helping them to follow the rules of each game.
Olympics:
 On the day of the Olympics, divide students into different grade spans so that they
compete against similar age levels.
 Ask teachers to run events on your yard if you want.
 Be very clear to the students about expectations of sporting behavior
 Encourage students to use supportive language and make it clear that students who
misbehave will be removed from the games.
 Suggestion: end the Olympics with a junior coaches & coach vs. teachers tug-of-war to
make the students laugh.
Events:
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Shoeless Joe Jackson:
 Have students line up and place a cone on the other end of the yard.
 The first time they race to the far cone, they will remove one shoe, then
run back and go to the end of the line.
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On their second turn, students will remove their other shoe at the cone,
run back and go to the end of the line.
The third time, the student must find their shoes in the shoe mountain,
put them both on, and run to the end of the line. Once the student is done,
they sit down and remain quiet.
The team is done once everyone has their shoes on and tied, and are all
sitting down quietly in their line.
Over/Under
Bookworm:
 Students race to a cone while balancing a book on their heads.
 They cannot use their hands to touch the book.
 Whenever the book falls, students must freeze and place the book back
on top of their heads at the place where it dropped.
 Once the student is done, they are to sit down and be quiet.
 The team is done once everyone has finished the race and is sitting down
quietly in their line.
Three-legged race:
 Students pair up on their teams and use a jump rope or piece of cloth to
tie their two legs together above their thigh.
 Advise students to pick up the long ends of the rope and link arms for
better balance.
 As a pair they run to the finish line (a cone).
 The team is done once everyone has finished racing and is sitting down
quietly in their line.
Tug of War
 Divide participants into two groups.
 Each team holds on to opposite ends of a long rope, with a flag tied to
the middle of the rope.
 Place two cones under the rope, equal distance from the middle (2’-5’)
 Each team tries to pull the rope until the flag passes the cone.
Ball race:
 Students pair up on their teams and form a line.
 Place a cone for the start line and set up a hula hoop with bean bags or
small balls on the other end of the yard.
 Students must place a red bouncy ball between their torsos with both
torsos still facing front. They put their arms on each others’ shoulders.
 Keeping the ball held between them but without holding it with their
hands, the partners race to the hula hoop.
 Once they get to the hula hoop, one partner tries to pick up a bean bag,
with the ball remaining between the partners’ bodies
 They return to the start line with the bouncy ball still between them, drop
the bean bag there and give the bouncy ball to the next set of partners in
line.
 If the ball drops while they are running, the partners must freeze in place
and put the ball back in place.
 The team is done once they have picked up all of the bean bags from the
hula hoop and returned to the start line.
Whole Yard Obstacle Course:
 Have students go down the slides in the playground, hula hoop, jump
rope, shoot hoops, shoot goals, etc.
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Schoolyard
Group Size: 10-25
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 20-45 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication and problem solving
Skills Practiced: Following directions and active listening
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Works best in a classroom, but can be played in any space.
Before You Start:
 Remind the students that even though this is a game of deception, it is still important to play
honestly.
How to Play:
 This is a modified version of the party game “Mafia”. One person (usually the adult) will serve as
the storyteller.
 The storyteller tells all students to put their heads down and close their eyes. Remind them that
they can only raise their heads when the storyteller tells them to.
 Once everyone’s heads are down, the storyteller will touch two students on the shoulder,
designating them as “bullies.” The bullies’ goal is to get everyone else in the group “expelled”
from school. Once a student is expelled, they are not allowed to talk.
 The storyteller tells the bullies to raise their heads, and they silently agree on who to expel by
both pointing at the same person. Once agreed, they put their heads back down.
 The storyteller then taps two more students, designating them as “junior coaches”. The junior
coaches’ goal is to discover who the bullies are as soon as possible.
 The storyteller tells the junior coaches to raise their heads, and they must silently agree on which
student to ask about. When they both point at a student, the storyteller will either shake their head
“yes” (the student is a bully) or “no” (the student isn’t). Once the storyteller answers, the junior
coaches put their heads back down.
 The storyteller will touch one more person on the shoulder, designating them as the “principal”.
The principal can point at one person, saving them that round even if the bullies tried to get them
expelled.
 The storyteller then tells everyone to raise their heads, and tells a story about how the person
chosen by the bullies got expelled. Be creative!
 The storyteller then opens the game up to a group discussion. Students must agree on who they
think the bullies are, and are encouraged to throw out accusations.
 After a few minutes of discussion, allow the 2-3 people who were mentioned the most to have a
chance to defend themselves. After they each have a chance to talk, take a group vote as to who
should be expelled. Once the vote has been counted, “expel” that person and tell the group what
their role was (bully, junior coach, principal, or student).
 Everyone puts their heads down and repeat until either both bullies are expelled or everyone else
is!
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School Yard Golf
Group Size: 10 – 20
Age Groups: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 30 minutes
Developmental Goal: Develop cooperation and decision making skills
Skills Practiced: Fine motor skills and strength perception
Equipment Needed: Golf Balls/ Tennis Balls, Hockey Sticks, Chalk, Cones
Set Up:
 Look around your yard and create a mini golf layout. Find hills, divots, ramps, stairs, planter
boxes, tables etc. to utilize as obstacles
 To create a course, mark each hole with a number, 1-18. A standard golf course has 18 holes,
adapt to what your space permits.
 Each hole should have a tee box, a place to start, and a cup/cone where each hole ends.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safety with hockey sticks and golf balls.
 Review the course and obstacles to look out for.
 Group students into teams of 2 or 3. Each team should determine an order in which they will take
turns.
 Players should be able to tell you how to play, taking turns and maintaining safety.
How to Play:
 Each team will receive 1 ball and 1 hockey stick.
 You may Rock Paper Scissors to determine which team will tee off first.
 The object of the game is to hit your ball into the cup in the fewest amount of tries.
 Once all teams have teed off, the team furthest from the hole should be hitting.
 If the ball advances past another team, the team who is now furthest from the hole gets a turn.
 If the ball fails to advance past another team, that team hits again until they are no longer the team
furthest from the hole.
 Players should be taking turns hitting the ball for their team.
 Each team needs to count how many hits it takes to get the ball from the tee into the hole.
Variations:
 Use a Frisbee instead of a golf ball.
 Play a Scramble: All players get to hit every time it is the team’s turn. Once all have hit the team
decides which ball it will use to take their next hit. All other players pick up their balls. Everyone
gets to hit again from that spot when it is their team’s turn. The team must use each person’s hit at
least once.
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Shadow Shadow
Group Size: 2-100
Age Group: All ages
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop creative thinking and social comfort
Skills Practiced: Agility, body awareness and reflexes
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate how to move and how to be a shadow.
 Choose a volunteer to help you.
 Exaggerate and make funny movements to fun to the game.
 Designate a signal to begin moving and to stop moving.
 Emphasize the importance of awareness, to avoid contact with your partner and others.
How to Play:
 The object is to continuously follow a partner without running into him/her.
 Identify what type of movement is possible (walking, fast walking, running, etc).
 Designate signals for the pairs to:
 begin moving around the play area,
 stop moving.
 Change roles after one minute so both sides have the chance to lead.
Variation:
 Add various movements: skipping, hopping, leaping, crawling, etc.
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Squash Balls
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 4th -5th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, strategic thinking and verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Balance, body awareness and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: Lots of old tennis balls
Set-Up: Set up a clearly designated play area.
Before You Start:
 Have students line up across the play area with a partner.
 Demonstrate how to stand and balance on tennis balls with the “balls of their feet” rather than
their heels.
 Allow students to practice with their partners before starting.
 Some groups may require spotters.
 Pass out four tennis balls to each player (eight balls per pair).
How to Play:
 The challenge is to cross a small area with your partner while holding hands and standing only on
tennis balls.
 The area is filled with “toxic goop” and the only thing that will protect you from it are tennis
balls.
 If one of the partners steps on the ground they must start over.
Variations:
 Have groups of three or four go across, or just one.
 Let pairs come up with creative ways to cross.
 Allow for more or less tennis balls.
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Stash It
Group Size: 10-50
Age Group: Grades 3-8
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop hand-eye coordination & spatial awareness
Skills Practiced: Running, agility, and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: colored jerseys
Set-Up:
 Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to run
Before You Start:
 Make sure the hoops have enough space between each other
 Inform kids to keep their head and eyes up to prevent running into another person
How to Play:
 Hoops are scattered about the play area with 1 football in each hoop; partners (seated) by their
hula hoop.
 On your signal to begin, all players move around the play area, grabbing footballs (one at a time)
from other hoops (not their own) and return it to their own hoop.
 Players are not allowed to “guard” the football(s) in their hoop.
 First team to get 4 footballs in their own hoop yell “Bingo” and a new round will begin.
Variations:
 Use different balls
 Incorporate Tag
Alternate Names of the Game: Ball Stash, Bingo Ball
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Tally Ho!
Group Size: 15-50
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation skills and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Agility and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Divide students into four groups.
 Demonstrate what it looks like standing shoulder to shoulder.
 Remind students that they must stay in the same exact line order.
How to Play:
 Students line up in their groups shoulder to shoulder and need to remember the order in which
they are standing. Each group becomes a side of the boat, making a square.
 The leader stands in the middle of the boat.
 The side that the leader is facing becomes the front of the boat. The side behind the leader
becomes the back of the boat. And the same goes for the right and left side of the boat.
 These designations stay permanent throughout the game.
 Once the boat is formed, the leader can turn to his/her right or left.
 The students need to quickly reform their original line order, making up the correct side of the
boat depending on which way the leader is facing.
 Once the groups correctly reassemble, the students grab hands, lift them in the air and yell “Tally
Ho!”
 The leader changes orientation again, and the sides of boat must realign again.
Variation:
 Students close their eyes and the leader moves completely out of the boat to other spots in the
playing area. Students open their eyes and reconfigure to their original positions from a different
orientation.
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The Wave
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop non-verbal communication
Skills Practiced: Awareness and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Ask students to get into a circle and hold hands.
How to Play:
 The leader announces they will start the impulse by slowly whipping the arm of someone to either
their right or left.
 The motion should flow continuously through the group until it returns to the leader.
 First just focus on completing the task.
 After they get the hang of it run an impulse in opposite directions at the same time and
see if they can pass through each other.
Mid-point questions:
 Have you noticed anything that makes the wave flow more easily?
 Have you discovered any secrets to making the wave flow smoothly and quickly?
 Shall we time ourselves to see how quickly we can get the wave around?
 Does anyone have any guesses about how long it will take?
Closing questions:
 What were some things that made this game difficult?
 What did you discover along the way that made the game work more smoothly?
 Is there anything you might change about the game to make it more interesting?
Variations:
 Another style of this game is called ‘Pass the Squeeze, Please’ in which a soft squeeze of the
hand is passed around the circle.
 If they get really good have them do it with their eyes shut.
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Tic-Tac-Toe Toss
Group Size: 10 per court
Age Group: 1st-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop hand-eye coordination & spatial awareness
Skills Practiced: Accuracy, hand-eye coordination
Equipment Needed: 2 different colored Frisbees, balls, or spots, jump ropes, tape, hula hoops (for game
board): 4 jump ropes or 9 hula hoops
Set-Up:
 Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to be able to throw
Before You Start:
 Make the tic tac toe court
 Split Teams Up
 Designate Colors
 Demonstrate what three in a row looks like
How to Play:
 Each team will have a set of colored balls, spots, or Frisbees.
 A person from Team 1 will throw their object attempting to land the object in an open square on
the game board. Then a person from Team 2 will do the same.
 The team to finish the tic tac toe first, either horizontally, vertically, or diagonally signals the start
of a new game.
Variations:
Equipment: Make the game board a little larger if necessary
Alternate Names of the Game: X&O Toss
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Toxic Waste Dump
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: 5th – 8th grades
Length of Activity: 20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop communication, teamwork and leadership skills.
Skills Practiced: Balance and body awareness
Equipment Needed: Potato sacks, cardboard, carpet squares, or anything that can be stood on
and carried easily
Set-Up: A clearly marked start and finish line
Before You Start:
 Divide students into two teams.
 Each team receives an equal number of potato sacks, one less than the number of people
in the group.
 Brainstorm strategies and give examples if needed.
 Make sure students have all their supplies and can repeat the rules.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to get all team members from one side of town to the other
without touching the toxic sludge.
 Players can only be in the toxic zone if they are standing on a potato sack.
 If students step off the potato sack and into the toxic sludge, they must return back to the
other side of town.
 If a potato sack is placed into the toxic sludge without being constantly touched by a
player, it is lost and the whole team must return back to the other side of town.
 Each team should come up with a strategy on how to get all of their teammates across
safely.
Variations:
 Choose the amount of potato sacks based on the experience level of the group.
 Less potato sacks makes the game harder.
 Inform them that their side of town is going to explode in 10 minutes and they must have
everyone across by that time.
 Have students figure out their plan first. During the game they must remain silent.
 Randomly blindfold a few members of the group.
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Traffic Jam
Group Size: 6-20
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 15-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and verbal
communication
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: Several cones - one more cone than the number of students playing.
Set-Up: Line up cones in a straight line with one more cone than people.
Before You Start:
 Line people up on every cone, except the one in the middle.
 All people on one side of the middle cone will turn right; the others will turn left (so that
they are facing each other).
 After explaining the rules, allow the group time to strategize.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to get all players to the opposite side of the middle cone than
they started on.
 Players can only move to an unoccupied space.
 Players can’t move backwards or turn around.
 Players may move around one player to an open space.
 Players may not move around more than one person at a time.
 If a team reaches a point where they can no longer move, they must start over in their
original positions.
Variations:
 If there are more than 10 people or so in the group, you can break up into two teams to
see which can do it faster.
 For older students, you could have them try to solve the algebraic equation of how many
moves it would take.
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Trust Falls
Group Size: 2-30
Age Group: 3rd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To understand the concept of trust and develop communication skills
Skills Practiced: Balance and body awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Before You Start:
 Divide group into partners. Partners should be of similar body type.
 Briefly discuss concept of ‘trust.’
 Have students practice everything before beginning.
 Designate a signal to get into ready position and a signal to begin the dialogue.
Demonstrations:
 Ready Positions
 Faller: Feet together, legs stiff, arms folded across chest.
 Catcher: One leg back and straight, and one leg forward and bent, with both arms
slightly bent in front of chest with palms facing outward.
 Verbal Cues Before Fall.
1. Faller says “Spotter ready?”
2. Catcher says “Ready.”
3. Faller says “Falling.”
4. Catcher says “Fall on.”
 Choose a pair to demonstrate entire sequence of ready positions, verbal cues, falling and
catching and getting back to ready position.
How to Play:
 Have partners stand in two lines facing each other. Have one side turn around.
 Give signal for both sides to get into ready positions.
 Signal for verbal cues.
 Students fall and get back to ready position.
 Let them go through cycle with the same roles three times and have them switch roles.
Once they switch, go back to step-by-step instructions.
Variations:
 Form a circle of five students, standing shoulder to shoulder in the catcher ready position.
Have one student in the center in the faller ready position. The student in the center
allows their body to fall in any direction around the inside of the circle while the catchers
gently support them.
 Have two groups of six students line up facing each other with their arms outstretched
and interlaced. One student stands on a chair in ready position with his/her back to the
two lines. Go through the verbal cues and fall back onto the interlaced arms. If you want
to make it even more challenging, have the person falling stand on a table versus a chair.
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Unfreeze a Friend
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: PreK-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To practice helping others.
Skills Practiced: Balance and movement
Equipment Needed: Bean bags for every student
Before You Start:
 Have the whole group stand in a circle.
 Announce the boundaries and any safety issues.
 Demonstrate how to balance a bean bag on one’s head.
 Provide every student a bean bag and a chance to practice balancing on her or his head.
How to Play:
 Every student must balance a bean bag on her or his head.
 The game begins with the leader announcing a movement, such as walk, job or skip.
 Everyone must move around the space doing the stated movement while still balancing
the bean bag on his or her head.
 If a student’s bean bag falls from her or his head, the student must let it drop to the
ground and freeze their body.
 Other students may pick up bean bags and hand them to the frozen students to help them
return to the game.
Variations:
 PreK-2nd: Allow students to pick up their own bean bags to return to the game. Or allow
unfrozen students to pick up frozen students’ bean bags while holding their own.
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Wolves and Bunnies
Group Size: 10-50
Age Group: 3rd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, cooperation, strategic thinking and verbal
communication
Skills Practiced: Agility, pivoting, spatial awareness, throwing and catching
Equipment Needed: One tennis ball for every ten players
Set-Up: Designate clear boundaries, have correct number of tennis balls.
Before You Start:
 Have students stand in a circle to demonstrate the game.
 Demonstrate safe tagging with the tennis ball.
 Light touch, on the back or shoulder.
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall.
 Choose six volunteers and designate two wolves and four rabbits to demonstrate game in
slow motion.
 Choose the first two wolves to begin the game.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is for the wolves to catch all the bunnies.
 Bunnies can move all around the play area.
 Wolves can also move all around the play area if they are not holding a tennis ball.
 When wolves have a tennis ball, they cannot take any steps and can only pivot on one
foot.
 Wolves can only tag bunnies with the tennis ball in their hand.
 Wolves without tennis balls should position themselves to tag a rabbit when the ball is
thrown to them by another wolf.
 When a bunny is tagged, it immediately turns into a wolf.
 When only a few bunnies are left, they become wolves to begin the next round.
 A time limit of 3-10 minutes, depending on group size can be enforced
Variations:
 Use different examples of predator and prey.
 Add more or less balls or balls of different sizes.
 Limit the size of the playing area.
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Core Playground Games and Sports
Playworks has chosen nine main playground games and sports to highlight that are commonly
found on the recess yard. They are 4-Square, Dodgeball, Jump rope/Double Dutch, Kickball,
Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, Softball/Baseball, and Flag Football. Each game is explained
thoroughly, along with many variations and lead-up games.
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4-Square
Group Size: 4-12
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking skills.
Skills Practiced: Underhand and overhand ball hitting, balance, agility and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: One playground ball
Set-Up:
 A standard 4-square area is one large square, 10’ x 10’ divided into four smaller squares
(5’ x 5’), and each box is labeled A, B, C, D or 1, 2, 3, 4.
 The box labeled A or 1 contains a smaller service box (1.5’ x 1.5’) located in the far
outside corner of the square.
Before You Start:
 One student is in each square and the other students wait in line.
 The student in square A or 1 is the server, and that student controls play of the game.
How to Play:
 Play begins when the server drops the ball once into his/her square then hits it into a
different square (serves the ball). The server must keep both feet in the service box until
the serve is completed.
 The ball can only bounce once in any square.
 Each student needs to hit the ball with any part of their hand into an opposing student’s
square after it has bounced only once in their own square.
 If the ball lands on a line, or goes out of bounds before it bounces, the student who hit the
ball needs to return to the waiting/cheering line for another try. If a student hits the ball
and it bounces again in his/her square, s/he also needs to return to the waiting line.
 If the ball bounces more than one time before it is hit into another square, the student who
let the ball bounce needs to return to the waiting line for another try.
 If the ball is returned before it is allowed to bounce, the student who returned the ball
early needs to return to the waiting line.
 Anytime a student moves out of the game into the waiting line, a square is left open. The
person in front of the line advances to square D or 4, and the remaining students advance
to close the gaps between A or 1 and D or 4.
Variations:
 Two players can cover one square, working as a team.
 Use two 4-square courts next to each other for 8-square.
 To focus more on jump rope and hula hoops skills as well as learn the rotation order on
the court, put either one jump rope or one hula hoop in each of the 4 squares, have one
student step into each square, have the student in A or 1 say ‘go,’ and see how long each
student can jump rope or hula hoop.
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Drop and Hit 2-Square
Group Size: 2-30
Age Group: K – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Underhand and overhand ball hitting
Equipment Needed: Enough standard rubber playground balls for each pair
Before You Start:
 Use the 4-square courts or create 2 adjacent boxes approximately 5 feet square with
chalk or rope.
 Explain the under hand position for hitting the ball.
 Have two students volunteer to help demonstrate.
 Point out various rules and directions.
 Review the rules and ask students to repeat them back to you.
How to Play:
 The game begins when one player serves the ball. They let the ball bounce once and then
hit it into their partners box.
 The receiving player must let the ball bounce once and then return it.
 Play continues until the ball:

Is hit outside the square

Bounces twice before it is returned

Is not allowed to bounce

Is hit onto a line

Is carried or held

If there are only two students, the server is the player who did stop the play.

If there are players waiting in line, the player who stopped the play goes to the end of the
line and the next player comes in.
Variation:

Allow older students to add a limited number of more complex rules, i.e. “blackjacks”,
“double-hits”. These rules should be clear and agreed upon before the game begins.
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Catch and Drop
Group Size: 2-4 per playing group
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Underhand and overhand ball hitting, ball placement, and agility
Equipment Needed: Enough standard rubber playground balls for each group
Before You Start:
 Use the four-square courts on the playground and/or draw new courts with chalk if
needed.
 Explain how to hit the ball and where to place the ball.
 Use student volunteers to demonstrate.
 Point out various rules and directions.
 Choose several volunteer groups to demonstrate before having everyone begin.
 Ask students how many bounces can occur in their square and to name three ways play
can be stopped.
How to Play:
 The game begins when one player serves the ball.
 Players let the ball bounce once and then hit it into a different player’s box.
 The receiving player must let the ball bounce once, and then s/he may catch it before
s/he returns the ball.
 Play continues until the ball:
 Is hit outside the square
 Bounces twice before it is returned
 Is not allowed to bounce
 Is hit onto a line
 When a player is stops the play, s/he goes to the end of the line and a new player comes
in square D and remaining players close the gaps, moving up as necessary.
Variation:
 Instead of allowing a catch before the ball is returned, you can allow a variety of
different techniques before each player returns the ball.
 Examples are bubbles or spins.
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Team B
Team 2-Square
Team B
or
Group Size: 4-30
Age Group: K-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Team A
Team A
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Underhand and overhand ball hitting, ball placement, and agility
Equipment Needed: 4-square court(s), playground ball(s)
Set-Up: Set up a standard 4-square area (see 4-Square page); or the game also works well with
two 4-square courts spaced about five feet apart (draw with chalk if needed).
Before You Start:
 Review standard rules of 4-square as well as any variations used at your school
 Two students are in each “square” (either half of a standard court or the entire square if
playing with two courts)
 Decide which team will serve
How to Play:
 Standard rules of 4-square apply, along with all of the ways play can be stopped:
 If the ball bounces twice in a team’s square
 If a student hits the ball out of bounds or into their own square
 If a student does not allow the ball to bounce before returning it
 The variation for Team 2-Square is that teams must take turns hitting the ball, alternating
back and forth between each student. If one student serves the ball and it is returned, the
other student on their team must hit it back. If one student hits the ball twice in a row,
their team must go to the end of the line.
 If playing with two full courts, the space between the courts will be considered out.
Variations:
 Add more courts/squares to play team 3-square or team 4-square
 Add more players to each team
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4-Square Switch
Group Size: 4-10 per 4-square court
Age Group: 2nd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication, conflict resolution, and eye-hand
coordination
Skills Practiced: Evasion skills, ball bouncing, and reflexes
Equipment Needed: 4-square court, ball
Set-Up: Same set up as 4-square.
Before You Start:
 Designate a place for the line to start.
How to Play:
 Play starts with a serve from student in square number 4 (or letter A).
 After the ball bounces in a square but before the student plays it, they can call out another
number (1-4) or letter (A, B, C, or D) to switch with.
 These two players must switch squares.
 After switching the players must play any ball in their new square.
 The same rules apply as regular 4-square; if students don’t continue the play of the ball
they go to the end of the line.
Variations:
 Restrict how many switches can occur in a round (1 per student, 5 per round).
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X-Square
Group Size: 4-20
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking skills
Skills Practiced: Overhand hitting, underhand hitting, balance, agility, and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Two playground balls
Set-Up: A 4-Square Court (10’ x 10’)
Before You Start:
 One student is in each square and the other students wait in line.
 Start by demonstrating diagonal 2-square with a student (Square A/1 hitting to Square
C/3). Review key 2-square rules.
 Review spiking and tell students that it is not allowed.
 Review the importance of staying in own square when student is still in the game, going
to the back of the line outside of the playing area when out, and entering the game from
the outside of the playing area.
How to Play:
 Play begins when the student in Square A serves the ball to the student in Square C, and
Square B serves to Square D.
 The ball must bounce and can only bounce once in the diagonally opposite square.
 The receiving students hit and return the balls back to their respective server.
 Play continues until the balls:
o Land outside the square or on the side squares.
o Bounce twice before being returned.
o Are not allowed to bounce.
o Are carried or held.
o Hit each other.
 The student who stopped the play goes to the end of the waiting line outside of the
playing area, and the next student enters that square, avoiding the playing area.
 When play is stopped for one pair, play continues and does not stop for the other pair.
 The student who stays in the playing area remains in his/her square and does not rotate.
Students who remain in the playing area will serve the ball to the new player.
 During game play, if both balls hit each other, then play is stopped and all four players in
the playing area will need to return to the waiting line. The next four students in the
waiting line advance to the playing area starting at Square A.
Variations:
 Play with either one hand or two hands.
 Two students can cover one square, working as a team (a 4-Square area bigger than 10’ x
10’ recommended).
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Wall Ball
Group Size: 2 - 20
Age Group: 1st - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop basic ball handling skills and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Underhand and overhand ball hitting and agility,.
Equipment Needed: Enough standard rubber playground balls for each group
Before You Start:
 Use a play area with a smooth, wide wall, marked boundaries are helpful.
 Demonstrate how to hit the ball against the wall.
 Choose students to help demonstrate game.
 As they play, point out various rules and directions.
 Ask students to explain the boundaries and how to hit the ball.
How to Play:
 The game begins when one player serves the ball by hitting the ball towards the wall.
 The ball must bounce one time on the ground before it reaches the wall.
 The receiving player must let the ball hit the wall and bounce once before returning it.
 The player can then return the ball by hitting it and reaching the wall in one bounce off
the ground.
 Play continues until the ball:
 Bounces outside the boundaries
 Hits the wall without bouncing off the ground
 Bounces twice before it is returned
 Is not allowed to bounce
 Hits a line
 When a player is stops the play, s/he goes to the end of the line and a new player comes
into the game.
 The remaining player is the server, and begins the next game.
Variation:
 After play has advanced past this basic game, players can add special rules. For example,
instead of requiring one bounce before returning the ball, a player could allow returns
before the ball bounces as well as on a single bounce.
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Dodgeball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, running, evasion, agility and body and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Several playground balls
Set-Up: Set up a standard dodgeball court: 40 yard x 20 yard rectangle with a center line
dividing it into 2 squares. Identify a waiting area on each side of the court along the sidelines for
each team. An approximate court size for kindergarteners is 20 yards x 10 yards.
Before You Start:
 Each team has the same amount of students and is assigned to one-half of the court.
 Each team starts with one or more playground balls.
How to Play:
 After a signal to start, students throw the balls back and forth across the center line.
 All students try to avoid being hit with the ball while trying to hit the opposing teams’
players from the waist down.
 If the ball hits an opposing student from the waist down (including a hand or arm that is
below waist level) before the ball hits the ground, the hit student must go to the waiting
zone on their side of the court.
 If a student catches a ball thrown by an opposing team’s student before that ball hits the
ground, the player who threw the ball goes to the waiting zone on their side of the court.
 If a student attempts to catch an opposing team’s throw and drops it, the student who
dropped the ball has to go to the waiting zone on their side of the court.
 If a student goes outside the boundaries while trying to avoid being hit, s/he must go to
the waiting zone on their side of the court.
 Students in the waiting zone should stay in line by the order in which they got to the
zone. One student may re-enter the game when a teammate catches a ball before it
bounces.
 A ball which has gone out of bounds can only be retrieved by the students on the side
from which the ball went out of play.
 The round is over when one team has all the students from the other team in the waiting
zone.
Variation:
 To start the game, place all playground balls on the center line. Students line up on their
team’s end line, and on a signal, run to the middle trying to get a ball. To ensure safety,
create a buffer zone in which students cannot get hit about 4 feet from the center line for
each team.
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Bowling Dodgeball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: Pre K- 3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Throwing and rolling
Equipment Needed: 2+ dodgeballs, 4+ cones
Set-Up: Place two lines of cones on either side of the playing field
Before You Start:
 Review underhand throws/rolling
 Place students in two (or more) lines
How to Play:
 Students take turns throwing/rolling a dodgeball at cones attempting to knock them over.
 Encourage each student to run after her/his dodgeball after it is thrown.
 As students advance have them back up and attempt a longer throws.
 As students advance form more lines and add dodgeballs.
Variation:
 Make lines of cones two feet behind both end lines of a rectangle. Allow two teams to
compete to knock-over each other’s cones and protect their own cones
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Rollerball
Group Size: 2-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, peripheral vision, rolling, agility and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: One playground ball or soft dodgeball
Before You Start:
 Use a play area with clear boundaries and a wall or fence.
 The dodgers will stand with their backs against the wall or fence.
 The pitcher faces them, approx. 5’ away.
 Mark clearly where the pitcher stands, the play area is for the active dodgers and where
dodgers go when they are tagged by the ball.
 Be prepared to explain the boundaries and different roles in the game to the children.
 Be prepared with consequences if the pitcher hits the dodgers above the waist.
How to Play:
 The point of the game is to avoid being hit with the ball.
 The pitcher tries to roll the ball to hit the dodgers from the waist down.
 Tell students where the players should stand to dodge the ball and point out where the
pitcher stands.
 Pick a pitcher and line the rest of the children against the fence or wall as dodgers.
 When a dodger is hit by the ball from the waist down, they step off the wall and join you
in cheering.
 The last dodger to be hit by the ball is the new pitcher.
Variations:
 When a dodger is hit s/he also becomes a pitcher. As the game progresses there are more
pitchers and fewer dodgers. This requires adding a few more balls. It also must be clear
how pitchers will share the balls.
 After dodgers are tagged, they need to perform a task, like jumping jacks, in order to get
back into the game.
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Circle Dodgeball
Group Size: 6-30
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking skills.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, throwing, spatial awareness and peripheral vision
Equipment Needed: Two playground balls, 5 flags/jerseys and chalk
Before You Start:
 Make a circle approximately 30’ across with chalk.
 Place evenly spaced X’s all the way around the circle, enough for each person in the
group.
 Be prepared to discuss safety rules, especially regarding the ball hitting only from the
waist down. Have a consequence ready for throwing above the waist and enforce it.
 Remind students that the throwers stay outside of the circle.
How to Play:
 The game is played with all the students on X’s on the outside circle attempting to hit
players on the inside of the circle from the waist down with the ball.
 Choose 1-5 students to start in the center of the circle.
 Each player in the middle has a flag or jersey in his/her hand.
 If a player on the inside is hit from the waist down, s/he must trade places with the
player who rolled or threw the ball.
 The player also hands off the flag to the new person in the circle.
 Only players with a flag should be inside the circle
 The players on the outside can only hit the inside players from the waist down.
 The outside players must stay on their X’s while retrieving or throwing the ball.
 A player cannot reach in front of another player to retrieve the ball.
 If any player strays off of their X to retrieve a ball, they are out and must wait a
few minutes before playing again.
 If a ball goes outside the circle, only one player at a time should retrieve it. The player
closest to where the ball exited the playing area should retrieve a lost ball.
 If the players on the outside cannot hit any of the inside players for two full minutes, the
round is over and a new round starts with new players on the inside chosen by the leader.
Variations:
 Split the class into teams. One team is inside the circle, the other is outside. Once a
player from inside the circle has been hit, s/he is out. When a whole team is out, switch..
 Choose 3 players to start inside the circle forming a small snake by having the 2nd and 3rd
players holding the shoulders of the person in front of them. Students on the outside are
trying to hit the tail of the snake. When someone hits the tail s/he becomes the head of
the snake and the tail goes to the outside of the circle to become a thrower.
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Gaga Ball
Group Size: 20-40
Age Group: 1st–5th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking skills.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, balance, agility, spatial awareness and peripheral vision
Equipment Needed: Cones and a few playground balls or soft, bouncy balls
Before You Start:
 Use a playing area, preferably circular, about 15 feet wide, with clear boundaries. Disc
cones work well.
 Be prepared to discuss why it is important to follow the agreed upon rules.
 Have consequences ready for broken rules and enforce them fairly.
How to Play:
 Everyone stands on the boundaries. The leader drops the ball in the center and as it
bounces three times, players say 'ga-ga-ball' aloud as a group. This signals the beginning
of play.
 After play has started, players can move within the boundaries.
 Players use their hands to hit the ball towards other players. The goal is to hit other
players with the ball from the knee down. If a player is hit with the ball from the knee
down, they are out. When they are out, they go to the boundary line and help keep the
ball in the play area by acting as a wall or a cushion.
 You can only hit the ball with an open hand. No catching, throwing, or holding the ball.
 You can only touch the ball one time in a row. The ball needs to hit either a boundary or
another person before you can touch it again.
 Explain that one more goal of the game is to prevent the ball from leaving the play area.
Rather than jumping away from a ball that will go out of bounds, players should try to
hit it into play.
 Play ends when there is only one player left, or when time has been called.
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SPUD
Group Size: 5-40
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication and listening to directions.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, spatial awareness, following directions, running, evasion and
balance
Equipment Needed: One playground ball
Before You Start:
 Line students up and give each their own number to remember.
 Students often forget their number, ask them to repeat it to you to make sure they
remember.
 Explain the rules and ask for students to explain it back to you.
 Review Dodgeball safety rules, especially throwing only below the waist.
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing above the waist.
 Gather everyone up in a bunch around you to begin.
How to Play:
 With everyone standing close to you, throw the ball straight into the air while shouting
out one of the student’s numbers.
 The student whose number has been called quickly gets the ball and shouts “SPUD” as
soon as they touch it.
 All other students run away until they hear “SPUD.”
 When they hear “SPUD”, the players freeze exactly where they are.
 The student with the ball may then take 4 steps, spelling “S”, “P”, “U”, “D” with each
step towards any other student.
 S/he may then roll or throw the ball at a student, trying to hit below the waist.
 The frozen student cannot move their feet, but may try to catch the ball or evade with
their upper body.
 If the student is hit with the ball, they get a letter (i.e. “S”).
 If they catch it or the thrower misses, the thrower gets a letter.
 Whichever student received a letter gets to begin the next round by throwing the ball up
and shouting a new number.
 If a student gets all four letters (SPUD) they are out and get to do a task (i.e. jumping
jacks) to get back into the game.
Variations:
 Children can freeze in different poses which you call out at the beginning of each round.
 Math equations can be shouted out, where the answer is the student’s number.
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Snowball Alley
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K–5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, evasion, jumping and running
Equipment Needed: Cones and 3-7 playground balls
Before You Start:
 Create and “alleyway” with the cones.
 Spread out the balls outside the alley.
 Explain the rules and ask the students to explain them back to you.
 Clearly define the safety rules, especially keeping the balls low to the ground.
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing balls above the waist.
 Divide the group into two teams.
 One team lines up shoulder to shoulder at one end of the alley.
 Divide the second team in half. Each half stands outside either set of cones,
with the alley in the middle.
How to Play:
 When the teams are ready, give a signal.
 The running team now has 10 seconds to run from one end of the alley to the other.
 As they are running, the other team attempts to roll the “snowballs” and hit the
runners below the waist.
 Throwers must stay behind the cones when they throw or it doesn’t count if they
hit someone.
 If a runner gets hit or does not make it to the other end of the alley in 10 seconds
they cheer in a designated area.
 When all of the runners eliminated the teams switch roles.
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Tunnel Ball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 15-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork and a sense of boundaries
Skills Practiced: Throwing, reflexes, and defense
Equipment Needed: 3 or more dodge balls, 3 larger cones (or targets), and smaller cones or
chalk to designate the circles
Set-Up: The smaller circle should be the size of a large hula hoop. Inside this circle will be three
larger cones. The larger circle should be big enough that students outside of it should not be able
to hit the cones in the middle too easily.
Before You Start:
 Remind students about dodge ball safety rules
How to Play:
 Divide the group into two teams – “Offense” & “Defense”
 The Offense will stand outside of the large circle, the Defense will be in between the two
circles. Both teams can move freely within their areas, but cannot cross over into the
other team’s zone.
 The offensive team will have 3 dodge balls. To “score”, they will have to knock over the
cones in the middle circle. Once all 3 cones have been knocked over, have the teams
switch roles.
 The defensive team can block the balls and defend the cones with any part of their body,
as long as they don’t cross into the middle circle.
 If the ball is stuck in the middle, the defensive team must throw it back to the outside.
Variations:
 Use only one ball and one target (to encourage passing and teamwork)
 Use more balls to make sure that everyone feels involved.
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Pin Down
Group Size: 8-50
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem-solving, cooperation, teamwork, verbal
communication, eye-hand coordination, strategic thinking, listening to directions, active
listening, depth perception, and a sense of boundaries
Skills Practiced: Agility, pivoting, body and spatial awareness, throwing, catching, peripheral
vision, following directions, evasion, reflexes, observation, and defense
Equipment Needed: 8-14 bowling pins or pyramid cones, 3-6 playground balls, lines or cones to
mark boundaries
Set-Up: A large rectangular space, with a line of cones in the middle to separate each team's side
from the other. Balls can be balanced on top of these cones. Bowling pins or pyramid cones
should be arranged along each team's base line.
Before You Start:
 Set up a signal/whistle for freezing. Remind students that no balls may be thrown after
the freeze signal/whistle.
 Remind students that they are throwing the balls at the pins/cones, not at other students.
How to Play:
 The group should be divided into two teams, and each team goes to their end line to wait
for the signal to begin the game.
 At no time may a student from one team cross over onto the other team's side.
 When the game begins, students run to the center to grab balls.
 The goal of the game is to knock over the opposing team’s pins while defending your
own, throwing or rolling the balls.
 Students may not kick the balls.
 If a pin gets knocked down, no one may touch it. The leader takes the pin out of play.
 Students may defend their pins by standing in front/back/side of it, but if they knock it
over by mistake, it is taken out of play.
 The game ends when one team has knocked down all the others’ pins.
Variations:
 Separate the space into quadrants or thirds and play with more teams
 Add more balls or pins
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Race Track
Group Size: 9-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork, eye-hand coordination, strategic
thinking, and a sense of boundaries
Skills Practiced: Body and spatial awareness, throwing, running, and evasion
Equipment Needed: 3-6 dodge balls
Set-Up: Set up a circular race track with cones or chalk:
3
3
2222
1 1 1 1
3
3
Before You Start:
 Divide group into three teams: Team 1 begins in the center of the track with the dodge
balls, team 2 begins at a starting line in the track, and team 3 is spread outside the track.
How to Play:
 The game involves various heats or rounds, in which students act as race cars running
around the track trying to evade the dodge balls.
 In diagram above, Team 2 is the first set of race cars. At the starting signal, team
members begin running around the track in one direction. They run continuously around
the track for the entire heat (determined at the beginning – i.e. 1 minute), regardless of
whether they get hit by a ball.
 Team 1 is trying to throw the dodge balls at the cars and hit them from the waist down.
Team 1 must stay inside the track when they throw the balls.
 Team 3 retrieves the balls that are over thrown and throws them back to Team 1 as
quickly as possible. Team 3 does not throw balls at the cars.
 After the heat is over, teams switch positions. Team 2 goes into the center of the track to
be the next throwers, Team 1 goes to the outside of the track to retrieve thrown balls, and
Team 3 moves into the track to be the next set of cars.
Variations:
 Have students in the center keep track of the number of hits they get.
 If a car gets hit by a ball, s/he moves to outside of track until another car gets hit.
 Change how students are moving around the track, and/or vary the length of heats.
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Rim Dodgeball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork, verbal communication, eye-hand
coordination, and depth perception.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, dodging, and shooting
Equipment Needed: 4-5 small/medium sized playground balls, 2 baskets on opposite sides of
gymnasium floor
Set-Up: Divide teams up evenly, place playground balls in center of gym floor between the two
teams
Before You Start:
 Have students on both teams start by touching the wall.
 Explain to students that they need to aim at the waist and below when throwing the
dodgeballs.
 If a student is hit in the head/face they will not be out.
 If a student hits another student in the head more than once s/he may be subject to time
out of the game.
How to Play:
 Both teams should be on the wall on their side of the court, with the balls in the middle.
 When the leader blows the whistle, students may run for the balls in the center, making
sure to not cross the half court line dividing up the teams.
 For a student to temporarily be "out" they must be either hit with the ball, or throw a ball
that the other team catches. When a student is temporarily "out" they stand on the side
wall.
 For students to get back in the game, someone on their team must throw the ball across to
the other teams’ side and hit the backboard/rim. Once a student hits the backboard/rim,
all of his/her teammates are allowed back in the game.
 The game is over when all the students on one team are knocked out to the side wall, or
when someone throws the ball from their side into the opposing teams’ basket.
Variations:
 Impose a time limit
 Hitting the backboard will only allows 1 student back in, students must hit only the rim to
the whole team back in
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Crossover Dodgeball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching and evasion
Equipment Needed: 3-5 dodgeballs
Set-Up: Large rectangle divided in half
Before You Start:
 Review dodgeball safety rules, especially throwing only below the waist
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing above the waist
How to Play:
 Played just like official Dodgeball, but instead of going to the waiting area when you get
hit you cross sides joining the other team.
 There are 4 ways to get “out”
 If a player is hit below the waist
 If s/he tries to catch the ball and drops it
 If s/he throws the ball and someone on the other team catches it before it bounces
 If a player goes outside the boundaries unless they are chasing after a ball that
has on out on their side
 Game ends when everyone is on one side.
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Medic Dodgeball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation skills and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, evasion and teamwork
Equipment Needed: Three or more soft, bouncy balls or dodgeballs
Before You Start:
 Use a divided rectangle as the playing area, such as a volleyball or basketball court. An
area set-up with cones also works.
 Review Dodgeball safety rules, especially throwing only below the waist.
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing above the waist.
How to Play:
 The group is divided into 2 teams, each starting on opposite ends of the court, with a line
separating them in the middle.
 Teams have 1 minute to huddle and decide who their teams’ Medic is. Ask someone
from each team to tell you who the secret Medic is.
 Tell students to wait for your signal to begin and then pass out the balls.
 When both teams are ready, on their lines, give the signal to begin.
 The teams then start throwing balls at each other. There are 4 ways to get “wounded”.
 If a player is hit below the waist
 If s/he tries to catch the ball and drops it
 If s/he throws the ball and someone on the other team catches it before it bounces
 If a player goes outside the boundaries unless they are chasing after a ball that
has gone out on their side.
 When a player is “wounded” s/he must kneel down.
 A player who is “wounded” can still catch and throw the ball but cannot move
from the place where s/he is kneeling.
 If a Medic comes by and taps a “wounded” player on the shoulder s/he is healed
and can move again.
 If the medic gets out no one can heal her/him and the medic cannot tag her/himself.
 The game is over when all players on a team are down/”wounded”. This game can go on
for a very long time. Consider having 3 five minute rounds instead of a 15 minute game.
Variation:

Medic & Spy: The leader of the game can at any time yell, “SPY! 10 Seconds!” and then
slowly count to 10. The designated spy on each team is allowed to take one ball across
the line and try to get the other players out. The spy must be back on his or her side
before time is up. If the spy does not make it back in time they are out and can be tagged
by the medic.
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Nation Ball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd -8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop an understanding of teamwork
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching and evasion
At start
Equipment Needed: 2-6 dodgeballs, soft playground balls
Before You Start:
 Use any rectangle with a center line as a play area
 Review Dodgeball safety rules, especially throwing only below
the waist.
During play
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing above the
waist.
 Explain the rules to students and ask them to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 This game is very similar to standard dodgeball. Students start spread out with each team
on one side of the center line. Distribute the balls evenly between the teams.
 Upon the start signal students can begin throwing balls at each other. There are 4 ways to
get “out”.
 If a player is hit below the waist
 If s/he tries to catch the ball and drops it
 If s/he throws the ball and someone on the other team catches it before it bounces
 If a player goes out of bounds while trying to avoid being hit
 When a player is hit with the ball, they must go anywhere out of bounds on the other
team’s side.
 Players outside the boundaries must get the ball anytime it goes out of bounds on that
side.
 They are still trying to get the opposite team’s players out.
 At any time, players can pass to their teammates, whether those teammates are in or out.
 The game ends when all players from one team are outside the boundaries.
Variations:
 If a player outside the boundaries hits an opponent, s/he returns to her/his team inside the
boundaries.
 Players can be placed outside the boundaries to start with.
 Limit the area where players can go once they get out i.e., only behind the end line.
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Sprout-Ball
Group Size: 4-40
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop evasive movement.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, use of peripheral vision, aim, accuracy and strategy
Equipment Needed: A soft, bouncy playground ball.
Before You Start:
 Set up a large play area with clear boundaries appropriate for number of players.
 Explain: Boundaries, roles in the game and the concept of returning to active play when
the person to hit you gets hit.
 Review Dodgeball safety rules, especially throwing only below the waist.
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing above the waist.
How to Play:
 The dodgers will make a line on one of the boundary lines.
 The point of the game is to avoid being hit with the ball from the waist down.
 Students have 5 seconds to spread out inside the play area.
 Throws the ball in the air. Students must wait for the ball to bounce 3 times before they
can grab the ball.
 Once a student has the ball they may take no more 3 steps with the ball before they
throw, or pass.
 If a student has been hit, below the waist, or tries to catch the throw and drops it, they
must sit down exactly where they were hit.
 If a student’s throw is caught, the thrower must sit.
 If a student with the ball has taken their three steps and another student is sitting, the
student with the ball may pass to the sitting student.
 After the student makes a pass they can move, as many steps as they want, to a
new location and wait to receive a pass back from the sitting student.
 When the student gets the ball back they make take three more steps and throw or
pass.
 A student (A), who has been hit, may not stand up and continue playing until the student
(B), who hit student (A), is hit.
 If student (B) has hit multiple students and then is hit him/herself, all the students
hit by student (B) can stand up and play again.
 Play continues until there is only one left standing. In the event that the ball goes out of
bounds, one student will retrieve the ball and begin by taking three steps as soon as they
step back in bounds with the ball.
Variations:
 Time limit on holding/throwing the ball.
 Students can decide whether or not to pass the ball back to the original student.
 Students must roll or bounce the ball.
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Job Dodgeball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem solving, communication and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, passing, catching, evasion and running
Equipment Needed: 2 large playground balls
Set-Up: Use a large space (approx. 40x50 ft) a safe zone for each team along the baselines; place
balls in the center of the field.
Before You Start:
 Review dodgeball safety rules, especially throwing/ tagging only below the waist
 Teach and fairly enforce a consequence for throwing/ tagging above the waist
 Explain the rules to students and ask them to explain the game back to you
 Divide the players into 2 teams and assign members of each team their special jobs,
 Throwers- can throw the ball at opposing players
 Taggers- must hold on to the ball and tag opposing players
 Rollers- can only roll/ pass the ball to members of his/her team
How to Play:
 Start each team in their safe zone.
 When ready yell “Go!” and players will run to the middle and grab the balls using them
to tag opposing players below the waist or on the arms. (Tags can be made either by
throwing the ball or by holding it and touching another player).
 The hardest part is that each player can only do their specified job; therefore a roller
cannot tag a player out, they can only pass the ball to teammates.
 Encourage students to communicate and think strategically.
 If players are in their safe zone they cannot be tagged.
 When a player gets tagged s/he becomes part of the other team.
Variation:
 Change the special jobs to help teach new skills for other games
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Mix it Up
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd–5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To work on strategic thinking and listening to directions.
Skills Practiced: Agility, evasion, throwing, peripheral vision and following directions
Equipment Needed: One playground ball
Set-Up: Medium sized circle with cones
Before You Start:
 Have the students circle up around the cones.
 Practice moving the ball across the circle with underhand hits.
How to Play:
 The leader begins the game by quietly telling one student to touch two different color
cones (i.e., blue and purple), that are not right next to each other.
 The student has to try and touch both colored cones and return to his/her spot in the circle
without getting hit by one of the balls in the middle of the circle.
 If a student is hit, s/he can return to the circle after doing 5 jumping jacks.
 After one student has finished, the leader tells the next student what colored cones to
touch.
Variations:
 Tell the students about their cone colors out of order.
 Have students touch more or less than 2 cones.
 Add a 2nd or 3rd ball, and have more than one student touching cones at once.
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Dodgeball Switch
Group Size: 5-30 (12 recommended minimum)
Age Group: 4th-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: Motor skills, ability to rotate and take turns with other students.
Skills Practiced: Strategy, throwing, hand/eye coordination and physical agility.
Equipment Needed: Hula hoops/cones and dodgeballs.
Set-Up: A very large square made with 4 hula hoops, with a fifth hula hoop in the middle.
Before You Start:
 Make sure the kids remember the basic rules of Switch.
 Review safety rules: how to throw a dodgeball and where it is acceptable to aim.
How to Play:
 Begin with one player in each hula hoop. The player in the middle has a dodgeball.
 The player in the middle (the Thrower) yells “Switch!” All other players have 10 seconds
to find a new hula hoop to occupy.
 The Thrower has 3 steps (or however many is appropriate the size of your square) to take
in any direction, before throwing the ball at one of the other players (the Runners).
 If the Thrower misses the Runner, then the Thrower returns to the end of the line
and all Runners remain in the game. The first player in line becomes the new
Thrower.
 If the Thrower hits a Runner, then the Thrower takes that Runner’s place in any
available hula hoop. The Runner returns to the end of the line. The first player in
line becomes the new Thrower.
 After this is successful, add one more Thrower to the center hula hoop. Each Thrower has
his/her own dodgeball. No matter what the result of the play, there will be two players
“out” and two new Throwers.
 Keep adding to the number of players allowed in each of the five hula hoops.
Notes:
 In my experience, the best number of players to have in the game at any one time is 12,
with 4 Throwers in the center, and 2 Runners in each corner. With 4 new players coming
in every play, it has a fast rotation and very little down time.
 This game is best played on grass, to avoid balls rolling far away on missed throws. If
you play on blacktop, be prepared to have a system for retrieving the balls.
 A good lead-up to this game is Double Switch (or triple, or quadruple, etc.), which is just
Switch with more than one student on each cone/hula hoop.
Variation:
 For younger children, you can play Kickball Switch, on the Kickball diamond (the bases
for corners and the pitcher’s mound for the center). They use a kickball instead of a
dodgeball, and they have to directly tag the player with the ball instead of pegging. This
game is useful to help your kids understand how bases keep them safe, and that they are
not allowed to peg with the ball.
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Watch Out!
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-8th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, running and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Several playground balls
Set-Up: Large rectangle with boundary lines (preferably a gym)
Before You Start:
 Have all the students line up on one side of the space
 Review that they only become part of the boundaries when they are hit from the waist
and below
How to Play:
 The leader begins in the middle of the space with 2 playground balls, and shouts a magic
word (any word the group has agreed upon) to signal students to start running to the other
side.
 If a student is hit with a ball while attempting to cross, s/he becomes part of the
boundaries to help return balls to the adult.
 Play continues until there are two students left, and the next round begins with those
students in the middle with 4 playground balls.
Variations:
 More or fewer students can begin in the middle
 More or fewer balls can be used depending on the desired length of time for the game
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Cookie Jar Scramble
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Speed, agility, coordination, throwing and passing
Equipment Needed: Cones and dodgeballs
Set-Up: Cone out a large rectangular field and scatter dodgeballs randomly around the inside of
the rectangle.
Before You Start:
 Start with students (cookies) in a line on one end of the rectangle.
 Have students repeat key rules and point out the boundaries
 Review safety rules
 Only aim below the waist
 Remind students to apologize if one accidentally hits another person’s head.
How to Play:
 On your signal, cookies have 10 seconds to run from one end to the other, staying within
the boundaries.
 The cookie monster attempts to peg the cookies with dodgeballs.
 Cookie monsters must throw the ball,(cannot tag cookies with their hands or with a ball
in hand)
 The cookie monster is free to run if s/he is not holding any balls. If s/he is holding a ball,
s/he may only pivot on one foot.
 The cookie monster may not pass or roll the ball to him/herself as a method of
transportation. This is why it’s a good idea to scatter the balls ahead of time.
 If there is more than one cookie monster, they may pass the ball to one another, as long as
they only move when they are not holding a ball.
 Cookies are not allowed to touch a ball lying on the ground.
 Those pegged by a ball become cookie monsters in the next round.
 Play continues until you want the game to start over, or all cookies have been turned into
monsters.
Notes:
 If there are more cookie monsters than dodgeballs, then those without balls are floaters
who should run to where the cookies are, and call for a ball to be passed to them. Most
kids will not figure this out on their own, so be sure to point that out to them so they do
not feel like they are out once they become a cookie monster.
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Jump Rope/Double Dutch
Group Size: 3-10
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination, cooperation and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Jumping, rhythm, timing, balance and body awareness
Equipment Needed: Jump rope(s)
Set-Up:
 For both double dutch and single rope jumping, a standard jump rope is 15 feet long.
 Waiting players form a line, or designate and follow a jumping order.
 Jump rope is the most common and widely played cooperative playground game – all
active participants (turners and jumpers) need to be aware and be paying attention for the
jumper to do the best job s/he can.
Before You Start:
 At a recess: 1 rope grants one jumping turn, 2 ropes (double dutch) grants two jumping
turns.
How to Play:
 The turners each hold one end of the rope and face each other; when turning the rope
should be arced and touch the ground at one center point.
 The jumper stands in front facing one turner with the side of one foot touching the rope at
the center point of the rope.
 After a jumper has completed his/her turn s/he takes the place of a turner, and the turner
goes to the end of the line. Make this clear so there is not confusion about the
responsibilities.
 No do-overs are allowed; once a turn has happened, the player needs to show sporting
behavior and fair play by taking his/her turn turning the rope.
Variation:
 Please see the Skills Building section, as there are many different fundamental and
advanced skills that can be integrated while jumping rope individually or playing double
dutch.
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Snake
Group Size: 3-20
Age Group: K- 2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop foot-eye coordination and cooperation.
Skills Practiced: Jumping and rope handling skills
Equipment Needed: Several jump ropes
Before You Start:
 Review concept of personal safe space when turning a jump rope.
 Explain the concept of taking turns in a jumping order and in the different roles.
 Demonstrate the skill and use students to help you.
 Ask students to explain the concepts and the rules back to you.
How to Play:
 This is an extremely simple and fun way for students to begin learning the eye-foot
coordination needed to jump rope.
 Divide students into small groups.
 Each group gets one rope. Two students are turners, everyone else jumps.
 The two turners kneel or sit on the ground and hold the rope to the ground.
 The turners’ job is to move the rope back and forth first slowly and lowly then
increasingly faster while the jumpers try to jump over the rope – either using the twofooted or one-footed jump.
 The challenge is also to try and jump over the rope without touching the rope.
 The players switch positions when you give a signal.
 If necessary, start the activity with still ropes for one full round.
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Helicopter
Group Size: 4-30
Age Group: K – 5th grades
Length of activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop the eye/foot coordination needed to learn to jump rope.
Skill practiced: Jumping and timing
Equipment Needed: Several jump ropes
Before You Start:
 Review concept of personal safe space when turning a jump rope.
 Explain the concept of taking turns in a jumping order and in the different roles.
 Demonstrate the skill and use students to help you.
 Ask students to explain the game to you.
 Make a large (20’ diameter) circle with chalk if you will be using a long (10’-15’) rope.
 Make enough X’s on the perimeter of the circle for each player.
 Caution: Make sure that students know to stay outside of the circle until the rope is
low to the ground!
How to Play:
 Students stand on an X on the edge of the circle.
 The leader begins slowly turning the rope in a helicopter fashion over his/her head and
says “Helicopter, helicopter over my head, I chose a color and the color is… (insert
color).”
 At that point, the leader begins turning the spin on the ground and the students with the
mentioned color anywhere on their bodies or clothes take one step forward and attempt
to jump over the rope, which is now low to the ground.
 Play stops when a student is hit with or stops the rope with his/her feet.
 The leader then begins again with a new color..
Variations:
 Start with the rope circling on the ground and several children already positioned to
jump as a warm-up.
 Change the chant at the start of the game.
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Zero, 1, 2, 3
Group Size: 4-20
Age Group: K– 5th grades
Length of activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop basic jump roping skills, understanding Jump Rope school
rules
Skills Practiced: Turning with a partner, entering and exiting the rope and jumping
Equipment Needed: Several jump ropes
Before You Start:
 Review concept of personal safe space when turning a jump rope.
 Explain the concept of taking turns in a jumping order and in the different roles.
 Demonstrate the skill and use students to help you.
 Ask students to explain the concepts and the game back to you.
How to Play:
 Divided into groups of 4-10, depending on number of available ropes and student age.
 Younger students need smaller groups, older students are challenged by larger
groups. Each group gets one rope.
 The leader assigns two turners and gives each jumping student a number.
 This number is the jumping order for each group.
 The two turners begin by turning the rope.
 One-by-one the students enter the rope and then exit the rope.
 In the first round, the jumpers try to run under the rope without jumping or touching the
rope.
 Then the jumpers jump once and exit on their turn.
 After the jumpers have jumped once and exited, they go through and jump twice, then
three times etc… until you signal it is time to switch.
 If a jumper misses on their turn, s/he goes back in line and continues to try the same
number of jumps, until s/he successfully jump and exit.
 Be sure to rotate the students who are turning the rope.
Variation:
 For more skillful and advanced jumpers, change from just jumping and exiting to doing
tricks while jumping.
 Examples of tricks are turning around while jumping, touching the ground while
jumping, criss-crossing the feet or one-footed jumps.
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Jump Challenge
Group Size: 5-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop leadership, cooperation, teamwork, verbal communication,
eye-foot coordination, strategic and creative thinking.
Skills Practiced: Balance, agility and endurance
Equipment Needed: Several jump ropes
Set-Up: Open area
Before You Start:
 Split the group into teams of 5-6 students each.
 Give each team one regular jump rope and one double dutch jump rope.
 Assign each group a ‘jump’ area, giving enough space for all teams to jump.
How to Play:
 Each team will have 30 seconds to get as many jumps completed as possible, and
everyone must jump at least once. (If not, that team’s score is zero.)
 After each round, encourage the teams to huddle up and discuss new strategies so they
can get more jumps.
Variations:
 Give the teams more or less jump ropes.
 Make a suggestion to tie the ropes together and have more than one person jump at the
same time.
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Kickball
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, depth-perception,
and eye-hand and eye-foot coordination.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, running and throwing
Equipment Needed: Kickball and bases
Set-Up:
 A regulation kickball field is 60’ x 60’ between bases.
 An approximate size for kindergarten is 30’ x 30’
between bases.
 A base line is the running path between bases.
 Explain the positions on the team – standard teams are 9 players each.
 3 base players: 1st, 2nd, 3rd
 3 outfield: left, center, right
 1 shortstop, 1 pitcher, and 1 catcher
Before You Start:
 The team who wins Ro Sham Bo chooses whether to kick or field first.
 The kicking team gets into their kicking order, and the fielding team goes to their
positions.
How to Play:
 The pitcher controls the play of the game. Play begins with the pitcher rolling the ball to
the person up to bat, the kicker. Play stops when the ball is thrown to the pitcher.
 Teams switch sides after three outs or nine runs are scored. Outs are granted when:
o The kicker kicks a fly ball and it is caught before it touches the ground. Note:
When a fly ball is in the air, the base runners must remain on base until after the
ball is caught (called tag-up) before they can advance to the next base.
o The base player has control over the ball and a foot on the base before the baserunner reaches the base.
o The base-runner is tagged on his/her body by a fielder with the ball before s/he
arrives at the base. Note: If the base-runner must advance because of another
runner or kicker behind, it is called a force-out and the fielding team only has to
tag the base to call an out. If there is no runner or kicker behind, it is not a forceout and the fielder with the ball must tag the base-runner.
o One base-runner passes another.
o A base-runner intentionally interferes with a fielder trying to recover the ball.
 A runner advances one base on an overthrow to the base player.
 A run is scored for the kicking team when a base-runner touches all 4 bases, in order,
without being called out at any time.
 If the ball is kicked and rolls out of bounds before going past first or third base, it is foul.
o Three fouls by an individual kicker equal an out.
o If a ball is touched by a fielder before it bounces, it is a fair ball.
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Crazy Kickball
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, depth-perception, and eye-hand and eye-foot
coordination.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, running, and throwing
Equipment Needed: Bases, cones, 3 or more kickballs and a hula hoop
Before You Start:
 On a traditional kickball field, place a large container that can hold many balls at the
pitcher’s mound, a hula hoop also works well.
 Mark the outfield with enough numbers for half the group. The numbers should
designate outfield play positions. Positions can be marked with cones or chalk.
 Do not put positions farther into the outfield than you expect the students to kick.
 Discuss the importance of staying at your position, calling your ball and, if necessary,
passing the ball to teammates in the outfield.
 Also inform students to stay behind the pitcher while students are kicking.
 Have everyone run the bases once all together in a single file line.
 This is a good game to teach the basic concepts of fielding and passing while staying in a
position zone as well as running the bases. With all this action, everyone is involved.
How to Play:
 Divide the group into infield and outfield teams and give each child on each team a
number.
 The numbers denote the kicking order and their positions in the outfield.
 Kickers come up one at a time. They kick the ball into the field and run around the bases
continuously for a homerun.
 Emphasize to the runners that they need to touch each base with their foot.
 While one kicker runs, the next kicker comes up to home plate and kicks.
 There are many balls so there can be many runners going around the bases at a time.
 The fielders retrieve the kicked balls, pass them infield and put them into the container.
 The fielders are trying to quickly pass the balls infield to keep the container full.
 Tell the fielders to get the balls that come toward their position and throw them
inward to the nearest player until the ball gets back into the container.
 Have students pass the ball to each other rather than running it all the way back.
 When the whole kicking team has kicked and run the bases one time, the teams switch.
Variation:
 For older students who know the game of kickball, players can stop at any base and wait
for the next kick before continuing to run.
 Allow more than one player can be on a base at a time.
 You could try allowing players to be tagged out in between bases.
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Strategy Kickball
Group Size: 16-40
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop the capacity for team play and strategy.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, running, throwing and passing
3
2
Equipment Needed: 1 cone or home plate, a standard rubber playground
ball, 4 large tumbling mats or chalk or cones to designate larger-than-usual
bases
Pitcher
4
Before You Start:
 The field is set up in a rectangle with four large bases.
 A cone is placed in the center of one width of the rectangle,
between 'fourth' base and first base.
 Be prepared to review calling your ball and fair play.
 Also be prepared to divide the group into two teams and set a kicking order.
 Demonstrate running the bases and throwing below the waist.
 Ask the students to explain the game back to you.
1
Cone/Home
How to Play:
 The point of the game is to kick the ball and run the bases 2x and touch home without
being called out. Have your team score as many points as possible. The following are the
steps to playing the game:
 The kicker kicks the pitch at the cone (home), and then runs the bases.
 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, then back to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and then home.
 The kickers, once they have begun to run the bases, can run at any time during
play.
 The runners can get “out” in the following ways:
 If a fly ball is caught by the fielding team.
 The runner is tagged with the ball while between bases.
 If the ball hits the player above the waist, s/he gets a free walk home and a point for the
kicking team.
 There are no foul balls but players are not allowed to kick the ball backwards.
 Once a team has 5 outs or a 5 minute inning has gone by, they switch sides.
Variations:
 All play stops when the pitcher has the ball.
 Add additional balls.
 Increase the number of times the students run the bases.
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Ultimate Kickball
Group Size: 16-40
Age Group: 1st - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, running, throwing and passing to teammates
Equipment Needed: 4 cones or bases and a standard rubber playground ball
Before You Start:
 This game can be played on a regular kickball field or by using 4 cones for bases in a
large area.
 Bases should be large enough to fit multiple players.
 Remind players to play in a position and to call the ball.
 Encourage passing the ball.
 Remind students to tag softly with the ball.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to kick the ball, run the bases, and touch home without getting
out and have your team score as many points as possible.
 Divide the group into 2 teams.
 There are no foul balls
 Players can kick the ball backwards only if there is a backstop or wall behind home plate
 There can be more than one runner on a base at any time
 Runners may choose to stay on one base if it is unsafe to run.
 Runners can pass each other at any time.
 Runners must return to the previous base if the pitcher has the ball before they are halfway to the next base
 Runners can get out when their fly ball is caught before it bounces or if they are tagged
while not on a base.
 Teams switch after one time through the kicking rotation.
Notes: This version of kickball works well because it allows the advanced players to run fast
through the bases, and the beginning players to take their time and learn the game.
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Over-Under Kickball
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, running, throwing and verbal communication
Equipment Needed: Cones for bases and a standard rubber playground ball
Before You Start:
 Set up cones as bases on a traditional kickball field.
 This game can played with all four bases or two bases.
 Practice the over/under passing together as a whole group or a short relay race
How to Play:
 When the ball is pitched, the first student kicks the ball and runs the bases.
 The runner goes continuously, trying to get around the bases as many times as possible.
 If you are using two bases the student runs back and forth as many times as
possible.
 The fielders retrieve the ball. Once a fielder gains possession of the ball, his/her
teammates run as quickly as possible to line up in single file behind her/him.
 The ball is then handed over the student’s head to the next person in line.
(over)
 The second person hands the ball through his/her legs (under) to the next
person who then hands the ball over her/his head again.
 The students pass the ball over and under until the last person in line has
possession of the ball and yells, “Stop!”
 At this point, the runner freezes where s/he is and announces how many time s/he made it
around to home plate.
 One point is given for each base s/he has touched.
 Everyone kicks through the order once and then the teams switch sides.
Variations:
 Runners go around bases as a team. See Example B in Kickball Group Time.
 After fielding players pass the ball, have the last person run to front of the line to go
through the Over-Under line twice.
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Mountain Ball
Group Size: 14-30
Age Group: 3rd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop the capacity to play as a team.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, passing, running, throwing, and strategy.
Equipment Needed: 2 cones or markers and a standard rubber playground ball.
Before You Start:
 This game can be played on a regular kickball field or by using 2 cones for bases in a
large area if there is only a home base and a second base.
 Demonstrate the two ways a player can get out. Remind players about playing their
positions and calling a ball that is coming into their position zone.
 Explain the rules and then ask the students to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is to kick the ball, run to the base and back home without getting
“out.” Have your team score as many points as possible.
 There are NO foul balls
 Players can kick the ball in any direction.
 One runner on a base at any time
 A runner is out when:
 A fly ball is caught before it bounces
 The runner is tagged with the ball, not on a throw. No pegging.
 On a fly ball base-runner must tag up before going home.
 Teams switch after one time through the kicking rotation or three outs.
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Multi-Ball
(Formally known as Kick It, Throw It, Punt It)
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop understanding of the structure of a kickball field and team
play.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, catching, running, throwing, fielding, understanding a batting order,
strategy, and memory.
Before You Start:
 On a traditional kickball field, place a kickball, football, and frisbee at home-base.
 Mark the outfield with enough numbers for half the group.
 The numbers should designate outfield play positions.
 Discuss the importance of staying at your position, calling your ball and, if necessary,
passing the ball or equipment to teammates in the outfield.
 Be prepared to discuss staying in your kicking order for players in the infield.
 Explain the rules and then ask students to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 Divide the group into infield and outfield teams and give each child on each team a
number.
 The numbers denote the kicking order and their positions in the outfield.
 Kickers come up to home plate one at a time.
 They can kick the kickball into the field, punt the football or throw the frisbee.
 Then, the student runs around the bases continuously.
 The fielders retrieve the equipment, pass them infield and put them on their appropriate
bases;
 kickball 1st, football 2nd, Frisbee 3rd.
 The fielders are trying to quickly place the equipment before the runner reaches
home-base.
 If the runner gets home first that’s a point scored.
 Remind students to be careful about base-blocking and stepping on equipment when
running the bases.
Variations:
 Add more equipment choices.
 Equipment retrieved can all be placed at the pitcher’s mound.
 Use three regular playground balls, and let the students kick, throw, or punt all three.
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Kick-Basket-Ball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 15-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop
communication, teamwork, eye-hand and
eye-foot coordination.
Skills practiced: Kicking, throwing, passing,
catching, shooting baskets, and running
Equipment needed: 2 playground balls,
4 cones, and a basket
Set-Up: Lay out the playing field as in the diagram.
Before You Start:
 Offensive team lines up behind the basket, second player in line is the thrower holding
the second ball
 The fielding team spreads out on the field as in baseball, one player being the pitcher, and
one being the shooter
 Demonstrate when and where to make a basket for both teams
How to Play:
 At the start of each player’s turn, the pitcher gets one ball and the offensive team’s
thrower gets the other
 Play begins with the pitcher rolling the ball to the kicker
 The kicker kicks the ball and has to run all four bases
 Before running home the runner must make a basket, taking as many shots as needed to
make one
 The thrower for the offensive team can throw the ball to the base runner (the kicker) after
he or she has rounded third base
 After the base runner (the kicker) makes a basket, s/he runs home
 The thrower then becomes the next kicker, and the next person becomes the thrower
 Meanwhile, players on the fielding team must retrieve the kicked ball and throw it to first
base, second base and third base
 Third baseman throws the ball to the designated team shooter, who shoots a basket,
taking as many shots as needed to make one
 If the kicking team scores a basket first, the team gets a point. If the fielding team makes
a basket first, it is an out against the kicking team
 Once both teams are shooting, everyone is counting down 10 seconds at which the turn is
over.
Variation:
 Rather than having outs, first team to make a basket gets a point.
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Kindergarten Kickball
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: All Ages
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop an understanding of the structure of a kickball field and
develop eye-hand and eye-foot coordination.
Skills Practiced: Kicking and running the bases
Equipment Needed: 1 kickball, 40 cones (depending on your kickball space)
Set-Up: Lay down cones along each of the baselines (approximately 10 cones between home and
1st, 10 between 1st and 2nd, etc).
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate running the bases and collecting the cones
 Ask the students to explain the game back to you
How to Play:
 Divide players into 2 teams, kickers and outfielders.
 Coach is all-time pitcher.
 The outfielders should spread out; their goal it to get the kicked ball back to the pitcher as
quickly as possible.
 There are no outs and no foul balls. The kickers line up and kick one at a time.
 The pitcher rolls the ball to the kicker and they kick it as hard as they can.
 Then the kicker runs along the baseline picking up as many cones as possible before the
ball is returned to the pitcher.
 Once the pitcher has the ball, he or she yells “Stop!” to the kicker, and the kicker stops
running and collecting cones and returns to home base.
 The cones collected are placed back at home base in a pile.
 Then the next kicker kicks and runs along the baseline collecting cones and etc.
 Kickers can run either direction on the baselines, but cannot run across the pitcher’s
mound.
 The inning is over once all kickers have kicked or if all cones have been collected.
Variations:
 Kickers must run the bases in order
 Outfield must tag a base that the kicker is running towards before they yell “Stop!”
 For larger and older classes, put out more cones so all students get a chance to kick.
 Allow tags and pegs to get outs for older classes. If tagged cones cannot be place in pile.
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Steal the Bacon – Traditional
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: K - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, listening skills, and number recognition.
Skills Practiced: Running, body and spatial awareness, following directions and evasion
Equipment Needed: Any object or ball (rubber chicken, cone, tennis ball, etc) to be the “bacon”
Set Up: Large rectangular area, such as a basketball court or field. Designate clear boundary
lines.
Before You Start:
 Describe the rules and demonstrate running into the center, grabbing the “bacon”, and
running it across their team’s goal line (one at each end of the playing area).
 Ask the students to describe the rules of the game back to you.
 Remember that younger students may have a difficult time remembering their numbers.
Asking them to show you their number with their fingers will help them remember.
How to Play:
 Divide the students into 2-4 groups; each team sits on a boundary line.
 Give each student a number. Each group should have a 1, a 2, etc.
 Place the “bacon” in the center of the playing area. Assign each team one goal line at
either end of the playing area.
 The adult calls out a number, and all students with that number run to pick up the
“bacon”.
 The student who gets the “bacon” first tries to run across his/her team’s goal line without
being tagged. The student whose number was called who did not get the “bacon” should
try to tag the other player before they get across the goal line.
 Once someone is tagged or gets across their goal line, the round is over, all the students
played in the round give each other high-5’s, and they go back to the boundary line with
their teams.
Variations:
 For older students:
 Use addition/subtraction, multiplication/division to call out the numbers; “the
players with the number that is equal to 2 plus 3.”
 Call more than one number at a time and require students to pass the bacon once
before they can score.
 Pre-K: Have students stay seated while they are waiting for their turn. Use a washable
marker to write their numbers on their hands. Place two balls/objects in a hula hoop in
the center and make sure each team knows which ball and which goal is theirs. Before
playing, demonstrate how to stand up, get the ball, kick/throw/roll it through the goal,
retrieve the ball, put it back into the hula hoop and sit back down.
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Basketball
Group Size: 8-24
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop leadership, teamwork, and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Passing, catching, pivoting, peripheral vision, running, endurance and pacing
Equipment Needed: Basketball and basketball hoops
Set-Up:
 10-12 players on each team
 5 on court, per team - 1 center, 2 forwards, 2 guards
 Standard court size is 92’ (28 m) x 50’ (15 m). The court is divided into two halves; at the
center of each end is a bottomless net basket, suspended by a backboard 10’ high.
 Foul-shot lines and an arc are on both halves, in front of and under the basket.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into two teams.
How to Play:
 Play begins with a jump ball in the center of the court with each teams’ center jumping
to attain possession. The players begin on the opposite half court of their basket.
 The offensive team has possession of the ball, the defensive team does not. The players
must dribble the ball down the court – bouncing the ball with one hand for every two
steps taken.
 A ball going out of play over the boundaries stops the game. The ball is thrown back into
play by the opposing team of the person who last touched the ball.
 Points are scored when the ball passes through the net. Foul shots equal 1 point; a basket
made behind the arc equals 3 points; all other baskets equal 2 points.
 After a basket is made, the team that did not score is granted possession; they must
throw the ball into play behind the boundary, under the scored basket.
 A foul and two foul shots (free shots without interference by defense) are granted to the
offended team when:
 A defensive player interferes with the offensive player by making body contact
with his/her hands.
 An offensive player runs into a planted (standing still) defensive player.
 Unnecessary and deliberate tripping, pushing, or inappropriate language occurs.
 Violations by the player handling the ball result in a turnover – possession of the ball
switches teams. The ball is thrown into play from outside the boundary.
 Violations by the player handling the ball are:
 Traveling: the ball is carried for more then 2 steps; the player stops moving and
holds the ball with both hands and then moves his/her pivot foot.
 Double Dribbling: the ball is dribbled with both hands at the same time; the ball
is dribbled, then held with both hands, and then dribbled again (to avoid this
violation, the player must either pass or shoot the ball).
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Power
Group Size: 3-20
Age Group: 2nd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To provide an opportunity to practice the skills for traditional basketball.
Skills Practiced: Shooting, rebounding and catching
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball per group, basketball hoops
Before You Start:
 Explain and demonstrate the game.
 Ask students to explain the game back to you.
 Have a drill or skills building activity for those students who get out, so they are working
on a Basketball skill while waiting for another round.
 Divide students into groups. Each group has a ball and is assigned a hoop.
 Make sure the children know how to spell the word you use. For younger students, use
chalk or a poster to remind them.
How to Play:
 Give each player in each group a number.
 The student who is the number 1 takes a shot from anywhere within the game
boundaries.
 If student 1 makes the shot, the student who is number 2 has to attempt a shot from the
same spot. If number 2 makes the shot, number 3 attempts the same shot, on down the
line.
 If a shot is missed, following a shot being made, the player who missed the shot earns a
letter. In this case it will be a ‘P’, which is the first letter in the word power.
 The next player can again shoot from anywhere and does not earn a letter if they miss.
 Once a player has earned all the letters in the word POWER, they are out. The game is
over when all players have earned all five letters in POWER.
 A letter can only be earned if the person shooting misses directly after someone else
makes a basket.
Variations:
 Use a different word to spell.
 Allow different moves before the shot that also need to be replicated if the shot is made.
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Basketball ‘Playworks’
Group Size: 2-8
Age Group: 1st-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop concentration skills, eye-hand coordination, and depth
perception.
Skills Practiced: Shooting, rebounding, peripheral vision, running, and pivoting
Equipment Needed: One basketball and one basketball hoop, half of basketball court
Set-Up:
 Give each student a number (for example: #1 thru #8 if there are eight players)
 Explain that each student will be shooting on their own and no one will be playing
defense on the shooters.
 #2 player will rebound #1’s shot, #3 will rebound #2’s shot and so on. #1 will rebound
the last #’s shot.
 Have all players line up on the free throw line or sideline to start.
How to Play:
 #1 will take a shot from the free throw line. #2 will then have to rebound that shot,
whether it goes in or not, before the ball bounces two times on the court. If the ball
bounces more than once, that rebounding student (#2) gets the first letter “P” of
PLAYWORKS (each sequential time the ball bounces more than once, the rebounding
student gets the next letter of PLAYWORKS).
 #2 freezes wherever s/he is able to rebound the ball (even if s/he is off the court – there
are no line boundaries).
 #2 can take up to three steps from where s/he rebounds the ball, and then takes a shot.
 #3 then goes for the rebound through the same process.
 The first person to spell out all the letters of PLAYWORKS is out and has to do a task
(like 20 jumping jacks, 2 laps around the yard, etc.) before getting back in the game.
 In between shots, the rebounder waits wherever s/he took his/her last shot (if
standing/waiting students need to move a little to get out of the way of a rebounder that’s
okay)
 The ball must hit a part of the backboard or rim (not just the net) for the shot to count. If
the ball does not hit part of the backboard or rim, the shooter shoots again.
Variations:
 For younger students, allow the ball to bounce two times before getting a letter
 Shorten the word to “PLAY” for a shorter game
 If a student rebounds the ball before it bounces at all, s/he can erase the last letter that
s/he got
 If a player makes a shot, s/he can erase the last letter that s/he got
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Around the World
Group Size: 3-20
Age Group: 2nd - 5th grades (K – 1st with a mini-hoop)
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To provide an opportunity to practice the basic skills for traditional
basketball.
Skills Practiced: Shooting, rebounding and catching
Equipment needed: 1 Basketball per group, basketball hoops
Before You Start:
 Place cones or chalk marks around the perimeter of the key (area near the hoop).
 Explain the rules of the game.
 Demonstrate how a player moves to the next marker and shoots again after a successful
shot.
 Demonstrate how a player, after missing their shot, moves under the basket and
rebounds the ball for the next player.
 Ask the students to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 Line players up behind first cone/chalk mark.
 The first student (#1) shoots from the first spot. If s/he makes the basket, s/he advances
and shoots from the next spot. The same player continues around the markers until a
basket is missed.
 After #1 misses, s/he goes under the basket and rebounds the ball for player #2.
 Player #2 rebounds the ball for player #3, etc.
 Player #1 returns to the end of the line.
 When all other players have had turns, Player #1 returns to the last place s/he made a
basket and continues as before from that spot.
 A player is finished when s/he has successfully made baskets all the way around the
court.
Variation:
 Once a player makes it all the way around, they have to go backwards around the circuit.
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Steal the Bacon – Basketball Style
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: 2nd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and listening skills
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, shooting and rebounding
Equipment Needed: 1-4 Basketball hoops, 2-4 Basketballs
Before You Start:
 Use the basketball court, or a large rectangular area.
 Designate clear boundary lines.
 Describe the rules and demonstrate the skills.
 Ask the students to describe the rules of the game back to you.
 Remember that younger students may have a difficult time remembering their numbers.
Asking them to show you their number with their fingers will help them remember.
How to Play:
 Divide the students into 2-4 groups; each team sits on a boundary line.
 Give each student a number. Each group should have a 1, a 2, etc.
 Assign each team one ball, which is placed in the center of the court.
 The leader calls out a number.
 All students with that number run to pick up their team’s ball.
 The students run back to the basketball hoop/s and attempt to make a shot. If a student
makes the basket s/he earns a point for her/his team, then s/he returns the ball back to the
designated area in the center of the court.
Variations: As students’ age and skill level progresses, several elements can be added or
changed to keep this game interesting and exciting.
 Allow Students to continue attempting shots until one is made.
 For K – 1st: Have students dribble to the hoop or back to their spot in line.
 For older students:
 Use addition/subtraction, multiplication/division to call out the numbers; “the
players with the number that is equal to 2 plus 3.”
 One ball per 2 teams can be used for 1 on 1 play with defense and rebounding.
Both players try to make the first shot, using the same ball, at the same basket.
 Player/s can compete against each other on a half court (1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 3) or full
court (4 v 4, 5 v 5).
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Twenty-One
Group Size: 3-20
Age Group: 3rd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination, teamwork and communication.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, catching, shooting, pivoting, guarding, and rebounding
Equipment Needed: 1 Basketball per student group of 3-5, a designated basketball hoop for each
group.
Before You Start:
 Designate clear boundaries for each group.
 Give each group one ball and identify one player to have first possession.
 Explain the rules with a demonstration.
 Ask the students to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 Divide players into groups of 3-5 with each group having a designated goal or hoop.
 The student with first possession puts the ball into play by shooting a free throw shot.
Whoever rebounds the ball has possession. Decide who will be the first to guard the
player who has possession of the ball.
 Only one person can guard the player who has control over ball, other players wait to get
the rebound. There is no double-teaming. When a player looses possession of the ball or
misses a shot, the new player who has gained possession of the ball attempts to shoot.
 Once the game is in play the person who last shot the ball or who last had possession of
the ball is the only player who can guard the player that currently has the ball.
 Each time a player makes a basket; they get two points and go to the free throw line.
Each successful free throw is an additional point.
 The first player to earn 21 points, without going over, is the winner. If a player goes over
21 points their total score goes back to 11.
 As skill level progresses, expect more from the game. For example, in kindergarten it is
okay for students to walk/run while holding the ball, third graders need to be more aware
of fouls and dribbling.
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Knockout
Group Size: 5-15
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and depth perception.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, shooting, rebounding and agility
Equipment Needed: 2 basketballs per 1 basketball hoop.
Before You Start:
 Explain the rules of the game. Be prepared to do several demonstrations, stopping in the
middle to ask students what comes next.
 Ask the students to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 Students form one line at a cone a few feet behind the foul line, facing the basket.
 The first two players in line get a ball.
 The point of the game is for Player #2 to make a basket before the Player #1.
 Player #1 takes their first shot from the foul line.
 As soon as player #1 attempts the first shot, player #2 can attempt a shot from
the foul line.
 If a player misses their first shot from the foul line, they can then rebound and shoot
from anywhere on the court.
 Both players are trying to be the first to make a basket.
 If Player # 2 makes it before Player #1, Play #1 was “knocked out”
 Both players pass their balls to the front of the line
 Both players go to the end of the line.
 If Player #1 makes it first, Player #2 continues to shoot.
 Player #1 passes the ball to the first person in line and goes to the end of the line.
 Player #3 shoots a foul shot, now trying to get it in before Player #2.
 Once a player scores or is knocked out they should pass their ball to the next person in
line as quickly as possible.
 Players may not at any time touch the other player’s ball with their body or their ball.
Variations:
 If player #2 scores before player #1, player #1 is out and waits until the next game and
player #2 goes to the end of the line, and the process continues.
 Players can hit each other’s basketball with their own ball. This can only be done after
the ball is in the air. All players should know and agree to this rule before beginning.
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Medic Basketball
Group Size: 6-25
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 15-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork, non-verbal communication, eye-hand
coordination, strategic thinking, and depth perception.
Skills Practiced: Shooting a basketball
Equipment Needed: One basketball and a few cones
Set-Up: Set up two cones near each basketball hoop where you’d like the teams to shoot from.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into two equal teams and have them line up behind the cones.
How to Play:
 Give each team a few minutes to select a medic.
 The first student in each line will have a chance to shoot the ball (have them play Ro
Sham Bo to see who goes first). If the student makes a basket, s/he goes to the end of the
line, earning a point for the team and remaining in the game. If the student misses, s/he
will leave the line and stand off to the side.
 If the medic makes a basket, every student who previously missed can return to the line.
 Play continues until one line has lost all of their players or the teams have combined to
equal a set number of baskets.
Variations:
 If the medic has previously missed a shot, s/he can return to the game if one of his/her
teammates makes a basket (can allow the game to continue longer, increase all student
involvement).
 Allow students to shoot from anywhere they want or increase the distance of the shot.
(Varies the difficulty depending on the skill level of the group.)
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Three Lines Basketball
Group Size: 6-30
Age Group: 3rd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-40 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork and communication.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, catching, shooting, pivoting, guarding and rebounding
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball, 3 cones, 1 basketball hoop, marked boundaries
Before You Start:
 Place 3 cones across the half-court line.
 Explain the rules of the game and the rules of Basketball.
 Ask the students to explain the game back to you.
How to Play:
 Arrange students into three single-file lines, one behind each cone.
 The first student in each line steps forward, turns and faces the next student in line.
 The three people that have stepped out are a team of three and will play defense.
 They will be playing in a half-court game against the next students who are first in line
behind each cone.
 The three students who are now at the front of the line form another team of three.
 Other students in line are waiting their turn to play while cheering.
 The defenders get ready as the first offensive player starts with the ball.
 The player passes the ball to one of her/his teammates to start the game.
 The object of the game is to be the first team to score.
 The following rules apply:
 If a player shoots and misses, either team can rebound the ball and shoot again
immediately.
 When a point is scored the team that made the basket stays on the court to play
the next three people in line.
o The team that scored starts on defense.
o The team that did not score returns to the end of the lines.
 If a foul is called, the player who has been fouled gets to throw the ball in from
out of bounds.
 If a game is taking too long, count down from 10..9..8.. etc.
 The last player holding the ball takes a free throw. If the player makes it her/his
team stays on the court.
 If the player misses, her/his team returns to the end of the line and the other team
stays on the court.
 If a team wins three times in a row, they get three claps and return to the end of the line.
Variation:

Players cannot dribble, in order to move the ball they must pass.
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Pass and Move Basketball
Group Size: 6-12
Age Group: 2nd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, communication and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Passing, shooting, pivoting, rebounding and moving without the ball.
Equipment Needed: 1 basketballs, 1 or 2 basketball hoops.
Before You Start:
 This game can be played on a full court with 8-12 players or half court with 6-8 players.
 Boundaries should be marked if the court is not already lined.
 Explain the game to the students and ask them to explain the game back to you.
 Review basic Basketball rules.
How to Play:
 Students should be divided into two even teams.
 On a full court, teams should be assigned at which basket their team will shoot.
 In a half-court game, an area should be marked where the ball must be returned after a
defensive rebound in order to restart the offense.
 Toss the ball in the air between two players for a jump ball at half court for older
students or Ro Sham Bo with younger students to see which team receives first
possession of the ball.
 The game is played with the exact rules to regular basketball except players may not
dribble the basketball.
 When a player has possession of the ball, s/he can only pivot, pass, or shoot.
 Players who do not have control of the ball can move and try to get open for a pass.
Variations:
 On a full court, a second ball can be added to increase the pace of the game and increase
contact with the ball.
 Designate a specific number of passes that a team must make before they are allowed to
shoot and/or make a rule that every player must receive a pass before a shot is attempted.
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Defensive Drills
Group Size: 3-20
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop an understanding of one-to-one defense.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, defense and agility.
Equipment Needed: Basketball ball, cones
Before You Start:
 Prepare an area, preferably a basketball court, marked by cones, chalk, or lines.
 Prepare students for an activity that will have several short games.
 Review Basketball rules.
How to Play:
 Quickness
 Divide players into two groups, lined up shoulder-to-shoulder.
 Lines should face each other across a bounded area.
 Start with both lines facing each other, while you are standing between the two
lines.
 Throws the ball down the court and the first person from each line runs down the
court to retrieve the ball.
 The player who gets the ball first attempts to dribble the ball back to you.
 The other player plays defense.
 When the ball is back in your hands, the next people in line are up.
 Shoulder Move
 Paired off, players face each other, holding onto each other’s shoulders.
 Players take turns leading each other, moving around the court.
 You can give different signals to signify different movements, i.e. one whistle
means move left, two whistles means move right.
 Pursuit
 Players pair off.
 One player leads, moving all around the court, while the other player must follow
and stay within 3 ft. of the leader.
 Players switch after 1 minute or when you give a signal.
 Cone Weaving
 Set up several rows of cones, side-by-side with about 4 ft between them.
 Pair student and have them line up behind each row of cones.
 Players must weave through the cones in pairs, without passing or tripping over
each other, for a designated amount of time (i.e. 2 minutes).
 You can signal a change of direction.
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Basketball Bowling
Group Size: 5-25
Age Group: 3rd- 8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and increase listening capabilities.
Skills Practiced: Following directions, running and shooting
Equipment Needed: 1 basketball
Set-Up: A basketball court-sized space, using one half of the basketball court as the boundaries
Before You Start:
 Review boundaries and rules, ask for questions.
 Have students line up in a single file line behind the free throw.
 Practice shooting the basketball from the free throw line.
How to Play:
 Have all the players line up in a single file line behind the free throw line facing the
basket.
 The first person in line shoots from the free throw line, once the shot goes up all players
in line must disperse trying to get away from the ball.
 On a made shot the player who made the shot must retrieve the basketball.
 Once s/he retrieves the basketball, they must yell “FREEZE”, at which point all the
players must stand still.
 The player with the ball then rolls the ball towards a player trying to hit them with the
ball.
 If the ball touches a player, that player is out of the game until the next game round.
 On a missed shot, the next player in line must retrieve the ball before it bounces three
times.
 Once s/he retrieves the ball they must also yell “FREEZE”, and attempt to hit someone
by rolling the ball.
 If they are unsuccessful they are out of the game until the next round.
 The player who missed the shot must also run away trying to avoid the player with the
ball.
Variations:
 Players can receive a letter instead of immediately being out of the game.
 For instance they can use the word “B-O-W-L”, and can get hit four times, to make the
game more inclusive.
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Tap Ball
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: Grades 3-8
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: The purpose of this activity is for students to reinforce their skills of
basketball, soccer, and football. This activity involves the shooting of soccer, passing of football,
and the concept of dribbling in basketball.
Skills Practiced: Running, accuracy, hand, foot, eye coordination and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: 2 nets or cones for goal area, soft foam ball
Set-Up:
 Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to run
 Create a safety shooting line that offensive players cannot cross to score
Before You Start:
 Split group into 2 teams
 Use cones or lines to delineate boundaries
 Go over safety zone, and safety shooting line
How to Play:
 The game begins with a jump ball or tip-off, like in basketball.
 The player who gets the ball can run with it, however, if they choose to run they have to
tap the ball up and down in their hand as they run.
 It is called a travel if the player runs with the ball without tapping it, just like in
basketball.
 Opposing players may steal the ball.
 Players may pass the ball by throwing.
 Players may not pick up the ball off the ground with their hands. They must use their legs
and jump up and catch it, or kick it up in the air to be caught.
 Players must make at least 3 passes before scoring a goal.
 The goalie on each team may use their hands to pick the ball up within the designated
safety zone, past the shooting line.
 Players may throw or kick the ball into the goal.
Variations:
 Depending on the space available have many games going on at the same time. It works
best when teams are 5 on 5 not including the goalie.
 Add an additional ball
Alternate Names of the Game: Tap Speedball
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Soccer
Group Size: 8-24
Age Group: 2nd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination, teamwork, verbal communication and
strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Running, spatial awareness, kicking, peripheral vision and endurance
Equipment Needed: One soccer ball and two nets/goals
Set-Up: A major league soccer field is a little larger than the size of a football field. It has a
minimum width of 50 yards, maximum of 100 yards, minimum length of 100 yards, and
maximum of 130 yards.
Before You Start:
 There are 11 players on each team: a goalie, defenders, midfielders, and forwards.
 First possession is awarded to the team who wins a coin flip or Ro Sham Bo.
How to Play:
 The game begins with a kickoff in the center.
 The two teams stand on opposite sides of the field and wait until the team awarded
possession passes the ball forward.
 Once the ball has been touched forward, play begins.
 However, play cannot begin by dribbling the ball; the first touch of the game is a pass.
 When the ball goes out of play from a side boundary line, it is put back in play with a
throw in.
 This is an overhead throw using two hands with both feet remaining on the
ground.
 The throw in is given to the team who did not cause the ball to go out of bounds.
 A corner kick is awarded when the ball goes over the end boundary but not through the
goal, and is last touched by a defensive player.
 The ball is placed at the nearest corner, and the offensive team gets a free kick.
 A goal kick is awarded when the ball goes over the end boundary but not through the
goal, and is last touched by an offensive player.
 The ball is placed in front of the goal area, and the defensive team gets a free
kick.
 Tripping, pushing, and deliberate use of the hands are called fouls.
 A foul results in a free kick from the point of the foul.
 Illegal use of the hands includes anything from just below the shoulder and
down; including elbows and arms.
 A goal is scored when the ball passes through the marked goal area.
 If the game uses cones for a goal, the shot must be below head level of the goalie.
 Play then stops, the ball is returned to the center of the field, and the non-scoring
team restarts play with a kick off identical to the one that began the game.
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Keep Away Soccer
Group Size: 6-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination, communication and cooperation.
Skills Practiced: Kicking, passing, trapping and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: 1 ball, preferably a size 4 soccer ball, jerseys
Before You Start:
 Set up and area with clear boundaries, using lines or cones.
 Explain the rules of the game and ask students to explain the game back to you.
 Review the basic soccer rules with you are reinforcing with this game.
 Explain and demonstrate the concepts of passing with the side of your foot, moving to
unguarded by a player on the other team, calling for a pass, spreading out and safe
defense, without touching.
How to Play:
 Split students into two teams.
 Have one or both teams wear jerseys so players can tell who is on their team.
 For the lower skill levels, begin with a keep away game from only one or two
players rotating them periodically.
 Begin with three or four players keeping it away from one player.
 As the players become more comfortable with the ball, the teams can be made
more even.
 Players try to keep possession of the ball by passing the ball with their teammates.
 The team that does not have possession attempts to regain the ball and keep the ball
away from the other team.
 Points can be given if teams make a certain number of passes before the other team
touches the ball.
 Assign players a position so they have a spot of the field they know they should play
near.
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Soccer 4-Square
Group Size: 4-16
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination and strategic thinking skills
Skills Practiced: Juggling soccer ball and short passes
Equipment Needed: One soccer ball
Set-up: A standard 4-square area is one large square that is divided into 4 smaller squares of
equal proportion measuring approximately 5’ x 5.’ Each square is labeled sequentially A, B, C,
and D.
Before you start:
 One student is placed in each square and the rest form a line outside of the square labeled
D.
 The student in square A is always the one that serves the ball.
How to Play:
 Play begins when the server drops the ball and kicks it so that is bounces at knee height
into another player’s square. Make sure the server is not kicking the ball at the other
players or so hard that it is not returnable.
 The ball can bounce one time in your square each time you kick or make legal contact
with the ball. All hits are legal except using your hands, as in soccer.
 If the ball bounces in your square it is your job to legally hit the ball so it bounces in
another players’ square.
 If you kick the ball out of bounds or into another player you go to the end of the line.
 If the ball hits the line between boxes A and B (for example) either player in A or B
square can attempt to make contact with the ball and legally hit it into another players’
square.
 If the ball bounces twice in your square without legally being touched in between
bounces, that player goes to the end of the line.
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Wide Goal Soccer
Group Size: 12-32
Age Group: 2nd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination, communication and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, stopping, passing, kicking and spatial awareness.
Equipment Needed: One soccer ball, cones to mark end zone line.
Before You Start:
 Prepare one large rectangular playing area, preferably on grass (30’x 90’) with marked
end zones.
 Review the soccer concepts that you want to teach through this game.
 Explain the rules of the game and ask the students to explain the game back to you.
 Teach the students what makes a kick a goal for their team.
 Demonstrate all the basic skills needed: throw ins, passes, traps, shots, etc.
How to Play:

Students are divided into two teams; each team is divided equally into forwards and
goalies.
Have 2 students Ro Sham Bo to see which team starts with possession of the ball.
The game begins with a forward pass from the center.
The forwards try to kick the ball across the opposite team’s goal line; the goalies try to
stop the goals.
Only the goalies can use their hands.
Goalies kick or throw the balls from saved goals back into the field. After a goal is
scored, the ball comes back to the center of the field and possession is granted to the
non-scoring team.
When the ball goes out of bounds, a forward from the opposite team throws it into play.
Fouls (illegal use of hands, pushing, tripping, etc.) result in a free kick from the point of
foul.
Change Positions either after goal(s) scored, a time limit or you give a signal.
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Variation:
 Multi-balls: add more than one ball to the game for more involvement, after the game is
successful.
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Steal the Bacon – Soccer Style
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling, shooting, defense, listening and following instructions
Equipment Needed: 2 soccer balls, four cones
Before You Start:
 Set-up a large rectangular area and note the boundary lines
 Place cones at opposite ends of field to make goals and put the soccer balls in the middle
of the field.
 Stands in a position where you can see the entire play area and the students can easily
hear the your calls.
 Teach the rules of the game and have the students explain the game back to you.
 Review the basic concepts and skills of soccer that you want to reinforce through the
game.
How to Play:
 Divide the students into 2 groups
 Give each student a number so that each team has a #1, #2, etc.
 Remember that younger students may have a difficult time remembering their
numbers. Asking them to show you their number with their fingers will help
them remember.
 Each team sits on opposite sidelines in a line facing each other.
 For each round, call out a number.
 The student with that number runs to his/her team’s ball.
 The student dribbles the ball towards their team’s goal and attempts a shot.
 If s/he makes it, the team gets a point, and then s/he returns the ball back to the
designated team area in the center of the field.
 Make sure that everyone has a turn at this before using variations.
Variations: As students’ age and skill level progresses, several elements can be added or
changed to keep this game interesting and exciting.
 Two teams can play with one soccer ball so that they are playing against each other and
playing defense as well as offense.
 More than one number can be called at once to encourage passing.
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Knock-Down Soccer
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: 2nd - 5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-25 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-foot coordination, communication and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Dribbling and shooting
Equipment Needed: 2-4 soccer balls, 8-10 cones, jerseys
Before You Start:
 Set-up a large rectangular area with boundary lines.
 Set up a row of 4-5 cones at opposite ends of the soccer field approximately 2 feet apart.
 Explain the rules of the game and ask the students to explain the game back to you.
 Review the basic soccer skills you are trying to reinforce through the game.
 Demonstrate passing and trapping with the inside of the foot.
How to Play:
 Divide the students into 2 groups with some visible way of recognizing who is on what
team (ex: light shirts / dark shirts or jerseys)
 The object of the game is to knock down your opponent’s cones with a soccer ball.
 Cones only count if it is a soccer ball that knocks them down.
 After a player has knocked a cone down, s/he picks up the cone, takes it to her/his side
of the field, and lines it up next to her/his teams’ own row of cones.
 The game ends when one team has all of the cones on their side of the field.
 There should be at least two balls in play so that all the students are engaged in part of
the game.
Variation:

The more advanced the children become, the more balls you can add to the game.
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Monkey Soccer
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd – 8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop an understanding of moving a ball towards a goal and
teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Passing, shooting and following directions
Equipment Needed: 1 soccer ball, 4 cones, and enough jerseys for one team
Set-Up: Mark each goal with 2 cones
Before You Start:
 Review playing area and team’s goals.
 Review the soccer concepts that you want to teach through the game.
 Explain the rules of the game and ask the students to explain the game back to you.
 Demonstrate how to use your arms and hands for the game.
 Emphasize safety and keeping your head up to avoid running into other players.
How to Play:
 Play soccer, but you can only use your arms and hands to hit and pass the ball.
 You cannot use your feet and you cannot pick up the ball.
Variations:
 Add more than one ball to the game for more involvement, after the game is successful
 Pre-K/K/1st: Modify to do a relay race or steal the bacon format for safety.
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Crab Soccer
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To work on eye-foot coordination and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Balance, agility, kicking, pacing and body awareness
Equipment Needed: One large light ball, preferably a beach ball
Set-Up: One large rectangular playing area, preferably in a gym with marked goals.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into 2 teams, with 2 goalies
 Explain the crab position (both hands and feet touching the ground, with stomachs
toward the ceiling/sky)
How to Play:
 Only movement in the crab position is allowed for the entire game.
 Students can only kick or hit the ball with their feet and/or head – no hands are allowed.
 The leader drops the ball in the center of the field for a kick-off to begin the game, as
well as after each point scored.
 Each team is trying to put the ball into their opposing team’ goal.
 If the ball goes out of bounds, the leader throws it back into play.
Variation:
 Add more balls and/ or goals to the game
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Crossfire Soccer
Group Size: 15 – 30
Age Groups: 3rd- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, verbal communication and eye-foot coordination.
Skills Practiced: Endurance, evasion, kicking and awareness
Equipment Needed: 3 sets of 2 cones, 1 large bouncy ball, 2-3 soccer balls
Set-Up: Set up 3 goals forming a large triangle. Set the big ball in the middle of all 3 goals and
the soccer balls in front of the goals.
Before You Start:
 Make 2-3 teams of players.
 Review safety precautions.
How to Play:
 Within each team, players must join arms with a partner, so students are moving in pairs.
 The goal is to kick the soccer balls so they hit the big ball into one of the goals.
 Just as in regular soccer no hands are allowed.
 The big ball can only be moved by using the other soccer balls.
 Teams can not score on the same goal consecutively.
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Volleyball
Group Size: 10-24
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, verbal communication and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Agility and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Avolleyball and a net
Set-Up: 10-12 Players on each team, 6 on court (4 players can be used), all players rotate
positions. A standard volleyball court is 60’x 30’, divided by a net standing 8’ high, and has lines
(or cones) marking the boundaries.
Before You Start:
 Teams are placed on either side of the net. First possession is awarded to the team who
wins a coin flip or Ro Sham Bo.
How to Play:
 Play begins with the server, serving (or hitting) the ball over the net.
 On the serve, the ball must go over the net without touching it;
 On all other plays, the ball can be played on after hitting the net.
 If the ball hits the net on the first serve attempt, the server gets a second attempt.
 After the ball is served, a rally begins.
 A maximum of 3 hits is allowed per side to get the ball over the net during a
rally;
 A player can only hit the ball one time in a row.
 Only the serving team can score.
 The serving team earns a point when the receiving team fails to return the ball in
3 or less hits or lets the ball drop within or on their boundaries.
 A point is also scored if a returned ball lands, without being touched, outside the
serving teams’ boundaries.
 The serve changes when the serving team fails to return the ball in 3 or less hits or lets
the ball drop within or on the boundaries.
 The change of serve is called a Side Out.
 The serve also changes if the serving team hits or returns a ball that lands,
without being touched, outside the receiving team’s boundaries.
 A team rotates every time they regain the serve.
 If the ball hits any part of a player’s body and can still be knocked over the net in 3 or
less hits, the ball is still in play.
 A game is completed when one team reaches 15 points and is ahead of the other team by
2 points.
 Serving and rallies continue until both the point score and the 2-point difference is met.
 After one game is played, teams switch sides and exchange High-5’s.
 First possession is awarded to the previously lower scoring team.
 A match is completed when one team wins three out of five games.
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Booty Ball
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: 2nd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To provide an introductory game to standard volleyball.
Skills Practiced: Beginning set and beginning serving.
Equipment Needed: Chairs or cones to mark and enclose playing area; 1 large (4’ in diameter),
light ball/beach ball.
Before You Start:
 Set up a rectangular area divided into 2 squares, each large enough for half of the group
to comfortably sit with space for each player.
 Chairs, facing outwards to enclose playing area and act as the “net”.
 Teach the game to the students and ask them to explain it back to you.
 Teach the concept of the set and passing to teammates.
 Be ready for students to be very silly the first few times they hear the name of the game.
 Demonstrate the concept.
How to Play:
 Divide the students into 2 teams
 Students sit on their team’s side, spaced out evenly on the floor.
 Drop the ball into play onto one of the team areas.
 Players attempt to hit the ball to the other team, over the chairs which are dividing the
court.
 Players may hit the ball with arms, legs, or any body part, but may not lift their bottom
off of the ground.
 Only three hits allowed per side. Help the students count outloud.
 Players try to keep the ball volleying back and forth as long as possible.
Variations:
 Knee Ball – Same as above, except students must stay on their knees.
 Chair Volleyball – Students are divided into teams and spread out on the court, sitting in
chairs. They can hit the ball with any body part, but cannot get up out of the chair.
 Multi-balls – add 1 or more balls into the mix. Follow same exact format.
 Competitive – add the serving component and award points following regulation rules.
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Clean Your Room!
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: K – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To teach moving a ball over the net.
Skills Practiced: Bumping, setting and serving.
Equipment Needed: 10-30 Balls, Volleyball Net, Marked boundaries.
Before You Start:
 Set up a traditional volleyball court, using lines or cones for clear boundaries.
 Balls evenly distributed on each teams’ side before game begins.
 Review the concepts of bumping, setting and serving with student volunteers.
 Teach the rules of the game and ask the student to explain it back to you.
How to Play:
 Divide students into two teams.
 Students are not allowed to touch any balls until you give the signal.
 When you give the signal for the game to begin, all students try to get the ball to the
other side of the net.
 They can bump, set, serve, throw, etc.
 You can focus on one type of hit, or let the students choose.
 This process continues until you give the stop signal.
 After the end of the playing time, the number of balls on each side is counted.
 The goal of the game is to have no balls left on your team’s side.
 Redistribute balls before you begin the next round.
Variations:
 Change the start and stop sound for a listening challenge.
 Have teammates cheer for balls returned without them touching the ground
 Have teammates cheer for balls that are returned without touching the ground, and only
volleyball techniques were used (bumps or sets, not catches and throws).
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Catch and Pass Volleyball
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To teach teamwork, working together to get the ball over the net.
Skills Practiced: Teamwork, throwing, catching, passing
Equipment Needed: 1 Ball, net, marked boundaries, cones if necessary.
Before You Start:
 Set up a traditional volleyball court, using lines or cones for clear boundaries.
 Balls evenly distributed on each teams’ side before game begins.
 Review the concepts of bumping, setting and serving with student volunteers.
 Teach the rules of the game and ask the student to explain it back to you.
 Emphasize the concept of passing and looking for the best place to return the ball.
How to Play:
 Divide the students into 2 teams.
 Students are arranged in standard volleyball formation, with 4-6 on each side of the net.
Others wait in a line on each side to rotate into the game.
 The ball is served by throwing it over the net.
 Players must catch, pass, and throw the ball back over the net in three or less tries.
 Play continues until one team:
 Hits or throws the ball out of the boundaries.
 Does not put the ball into play on the other side of the net in three tries or less.
 Allows the ball to touch the floor on their side.
 This game can be used to teach rotation.
 Only the serving team can earn points.
 If the serving team loses a volley, the other team gets the serve.
 Teams rotate each time they regain the serve.
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4-Square Volleyball
Group Size: 12-20
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Development Goal: To develop teamwork and communication.
Skills Practiced: Bumping, setting and serving
Equipment Needed: 1-3 volleyballs
Set-Up: Use a painted 4-square or divide a large square into four sections
Before You Start:
 Review how to bump, set, and serve.
 Make sure students know how to rotate in and out of the playing area.
Description:
 Play begins with one student serving from his/her corner.
 Serve can be to any of the other 3 players.
 Each player gets one attempt to set or bump the ball to another player without the ball
hitting the ground.
 If the student misses or hits the ball out of bounds then s/he returns to the end of the line.
 Play re-starts with a serve.
Variation:
 Team 4-square Volleyball: use a large 4-square (approximately 24’ x 24’). Place 3-4
students on a team, each team gets a square. Each team gets a maximum of 3 hits to
return the ball to another square.
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Softball/Baseball
Center
Field
Right
Field
Left
Field
Group Size: 8-24
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
2nd Base
Person
Short
Stop
3rd
Base
Person
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, verbal communication
and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Running, throwing, catching and depth perception
Equipment Needed: Softball/baseball mitts, one ball, one bat, one
catcher’s mask, and bases.
1st Base
Person
Pitcher
Catcher
Set-Up: 9 players on each team. Field Positions: 3 base-players (1st, 2nd , 3rd), 3 outfield (left,
center, right fields), 1 short-stop, 1 pitcher and 1 catcher.A regulation softball field is 60’x 60’
between the bases; a regulation baseball field is 90’x 90’. A base line marks the running path
between the bases.
Before You Start:
 The team who wins Ro Sham Bo gets to chose whether to bat or field first.
How to Play:
 The pitcher controls the play of the game.
 Play begins with the pitcher throwing the ball to the person up to bat, the batter.
 Play stops when the ball is thrown to the pitcher.
 Teams switch sides after three outs or nine runs are scored.
 Outs are granted when:
 The batter swings and misses the ball three times; the miss is called a strike.
 The batter hits a fly ball and it is caught before it touches the ground.
 When a fly ball is in the air, the base runners remain on base until after
the ball is caught (called tag-up) before they can go to the next base.
 The base-player has control over the ball and a foot on the base before the batter
(now base-runner) reaches the base.
 If the base-runner must advance because of another runner or batter
behind, it is called a force-out and the fielding team only has to tag the
base to call an out.
 If there is no runner or batter behind, it is not a force and the fielder with
the ball must tag the base-runner.
 The base-runner is tagged on his/her body with the ball before s/he arrives at the
base.
 One base-runner passes another.
 A base-runner intentionally interferes with a fielder trying to recover the ball.
 If the ball is hit outside the base lines, it is called a foul.
 Fouls count as strikes, however a foul does not count as strike 3.
 If a fielder attempts to throw the ball to a base- player and the ball is overthrown, the
runner advances one base.
 A run is scored for the batting team when a base-runner touches all 4 bases, in order,
without called out at any time.
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Crazy Softball
Group Size: 8-20
Age Group: K – 2nd grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, verbal communication and eye-hand
coordination.
Skills Practiced: Batting, base running, fielding, catching, throwing and playing a position
Equipment Needed: 1 bat, 5 tennis or softballs, 1 bucket, marked field with bases and tee
Before You Start:
 Set up the field with bases.
 Review the concepts of Softball and Baseball that you want to teach through the game.
 Review safety rules, especially the “Swing, Drop, Run” rule for the batting.
 Teach the game to the students and then ask them to explain the game back to you.
 Demonstrate hitting, running the bases and fielding (with a pass to a teammate).
How to Play:
 Divide students into two teams.
 The fielding team gets distributed in their positions; everyone is in the field, even if you
need to have more than 9 in the field.
 Give the batting team a batting order and line them up in a safe area to the side of the
field.
 You are the pitcher (if no tee is available) with a bucket of balls next to your feet.
 Pitch the ball to the batter.
 After the batter hits the ball, s/he automatically runs the bases, without stopping at any
one base.
 There are no fouls in this game.
 After rounding the bases, the runner returns to the end of the line.
 The fielding team gets the ball back to the pitcher as quickly as they can, passing the ball
in through teammates.
 Teams switch sides after everyone has had one chance to hit the ball and run bases. After
everyone has had a hit, you can switch after 5 minutes.
Variations:
 Speed! – One ball is used. After the batter hits the ball, s/he must run the bases in order,
continuously until the ball is fielded to the pitcher, or tagged out. The goal is to see how
far the runner can get before being stopped. Switch after 3 outs or when time is called.
 One Base Advance – After the batter hits the ball, s/he advances through the bases one at
a time, stopping and then running each time a ball is hit by the next batter.
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Tee Ball
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, verbal communication and eye-hand
coordination.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, fielding, batting, base running and position playing
Equipment Needed: Tennis balls or plastic wiffle balls, bases, Baseball tee or tall cone, one
plastic or foam bat.
Before You Start:
 Set up the field with the bases and with the Tee as Home Plate.
 Review the concepts of Softball and Baseball that you want to teach through the game.
 Review safety rules, especially the “Swing, Drop, Run” rule for the batting.
 Teach the game to the students and then ask them to explain the game back to you.
 Demonstrate hitting, running the bases and fielding (with a pass to a teammate).
How to Play:
 Divide students into two teams;
 The fielding team gets distributed in their positions; everyone is in the field, even if you
need to have more than 9 in the field.
 Give the batting team a batting order and line them up in a safe area to the side of the
field.
 This game is played following the softball & baseball rules; with the exception that
pitcher does not pitch the ball to the batter.
 You are the pitcher and control the play of the game. Play starts when you place the ball
on the tee and the batter hits the ball off the tee.
 Play stops when the ball is returned back to you.
 Teams switch sides when either:
 3 outs are scored; a time limit is reached;
 or after the team batting rotation.
Variations:
 Throw ball – The fielding team is set up in the regular baseball/softball format. The
batter throws the ball into the field from home plate, and then proceeds to run the bases.
 Fielders can catch a thrown ball in the air or tag the runner for an out, just like in
regular baseball.
 Play ends when the catcher at home plate has the ball.
 This is a good alternative when the yard is too crowded to risk someone getting
hit by a batted ball or a swinging bat.
 For young grades, have students run the bases without calling outs.
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Pickle
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and communication.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, fielding, agility and timing, base running and position
playing.
Equipment Needed: Tennis balls and 2 cones for bases.
Before You Start:
 Place the bases 20-30’ apart and select 2 students to be the throwers at each base.
 Teach the rules of the game and ask the students to explain them back to you.
 Review the concepts of softball and baseball that you are reinforcing through this game.
 Model the activity with 2 volunteers.
How to Play:
 The students stand in between the two bases. The two throwers start by throwing the ball
back and forth to each other.
 After the third throw, the students in the middle attempt to run to one of the bases. The
throwers pass the ball quickly and try to tag the runners while holding the ball.
 The runners are only safe if they are standing on the bases.
 Runners count how many times they can advance to each base without being tagged.
 If a runner is tagged three times they switch positions with the thrower.
Variation:
 This can also be played with a kickball so that the throwers are allowed to tag a student
by throwing the ball at a runner aiming for the waist or below.
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Tennis Baseball
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination needed to hit a ball with a racket.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, fielding, batting, base running and position playing
Equipment Needed: Tennis balls, bases or cones and tennis or racquetball racquet
Before You Start:
 Set up a typical baseball field with bases.
 Teach the rules of the game and ask the students to explain them back to you.
 Review the concepts of softball and baseball that you are reinforcing through this game.
 Demonstrate the skills needed.
How to Play:
 Divide students into two teams.
 The fielding team gets distributed in their positions; everyone is in the field, even if you
need to have more than 9 in the field.
 Give the batting team a batting order and line them up in a safe area to the side of the
field.
 This game is played following the softball & baseball rules; with the exception that
pitcher allows the ball to bounce once before it reaches the batter. The batter hits with a
racquet rather than a bat.
 You are the pitcher and control the play of the game.
 Play starts when you throw the ball underhand towards home plate.
 Play stops when the ball is returned back to you.
 Teams switch sides when either:
 after the full team batting rotation;
 a time limit is reached;
 3 outs are scored.
Variation:
 Boom Ball – Play with the same rules and boundaries as tennis baseball except the ball
being used is a volleyball or soccer ball and the batter uses an actual soft/baseball bat or
a 5 gallon water jug attached to a handle.
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Roller Baseball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and communication.
Skills Practiced: Batting, catching and verbal communication
Equipment Needed: 1 kickball, 1 bat, home plate
Set-Up: A baseball/kickball area
Before You Start:
 Divide the group into two teams.
 Line up the outfield team as you would for a game of baseball.
 Line up the infield team in a straight line about 15 feet behind home plate, or in safe
place near the batter but not in the playing field.
 Practice rolling the ball between players legs together as a group or as a short relay
How to Play:
 The pitcher pitches the kickball to the first player, who hits it with the bat.
 As the ball rolls to the outfield, the batter runs around his or her team as many times as
possible.
 Meanwhile, the players in the outfield line up behind the player who caught the ball.
They all stand one behind the one another with their legs apart.
 The player who caught the ball rolls it between his or her legs and between the legs of the
team.
 When the last player in line gets the ball, he or she runs to the front of the line and yells
“Stop!” and the batter stops running.
 The hitting team keeps track of how many times the batter completely ran around them,
by counting aloud.
 After three batters, teams switch positions.
 Play continues until everyone has batted
Variation:
 Have the batter run continuously around the bases instead of around his or her teammates
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Wall Baseball
Group Size: 4-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination, communication and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Catching, throwing and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: One tennis ball
Set-Up: Open area with a large wall
Before You Start:
 Split the students into two teams. The 1st team on offense has one person up to bat and
everyone else on the sideline. The 2nd team on defense spreads all its players out around
the playing area (should be about the size of the infield area for kickball) adjacent to the
wall
 When students can tell you where the boundaries are and know the object is to catch the
ball in as few bounces as possible.
 Set boundaries
How to Play:
 The player on offense who is up to bat throws the tennis ball against the wall, it must go
above a line on the wall of at least 6ft. (the higher the line the easier it is so for lower
grades so 10 or 12 feet may be better).
 When the ball bounces off the wall the team on defense tries to catch it. If they catch it
before it hits the ground that is an out.
 However, if the ball bounces once before someone catches it that’s a single, two bounces
is a double, three bounces a triple, and four bounces is a homerun.
 There are no bases so outs can only be made if the ball is caught in the air. It is crucial to
remember where the “imaginary runners” are for scoring purposes.
 If a ball bounces beyond the boundary those out of bounds bounces do not count.
Variations:
 Include base running.
 Allow a double play (two outs) if a defensive player catches the ball in the air and then
immediately throws it to a teammate who catches the ball without it bouncing.
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Flag Football
Group Size: 8-24
Age Group: 2nd–5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop leadership, teamwork, verbal communication, eye-hand
coordination and depth perception.
Skills Practiced: Agility, pivoting, spatial awareness, throwing, catching, running, evasion and
endurance.
Equipment Needed: One football, two sets of waist flags, and cones.
Set-Up:
 Place the cones on an open field/space to form a large rectangle, and create two small end
zones on each end of the field.
 Also place cones at the midfield line, and at the 5 yard line on each end of the field.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into even teams, preferably 6 on 6.
 Have two students do Ro-Sham-Bo to determine which team will have possession first.
How to Play:
 On the leader’s signal, the offensive team begins at the 5 yard line.
 Teams have 4 downs to get to mid field for a first down and 4 downs to score (maximum
of 8 downs per possession).
 The game is non-contact. (No blocking allowed.)
 All changes of possession start at the 5 yard line, except interceptions which start at the
spot of interception. (If an interception occurs in the end zone, the ball is placed on the 5
yard line.)
 Passing:
 The quarterback has 7 seconds to throw the ball.
 There is no rushing the quarterback.
 The quarterback cannot run the ball.
 Running/Receiving:
 The quarterback makes direct handoffs to other players. No pitches/laterals
allowed.
 The quarterback should be aware of no run zones (5 yards from each end zone
and 5 yards on either side of midfield). The leader will let teams know when
they’ve entered this zone.
 Runners and receivers cannot use hands to prevent players from pulling the flag.
 No fumbles. The ball is placed at the spot of the fumble.
 Interceptions cannot be returned. The ball is placed at the spot of interception.
 Two handoffs are allowed every 4 downs, no passing after a handoff.
 Only forward passes are allowed.
 Penalties:
 All penalties are 5 yards and a loss of down.
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21- Football
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: Grades 3-8
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To practice catching and throwing while being defended and defending
areas of a field
Skills Practiced: Running, agility, hand eye coordination and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: colored jerseys, cones, football
Set-Up: Designate a large play area with clear boundaries that has room for students to
run
Before You Start:
 Split group into 2 teams
 You will need a rectangular shaped field or court with zones marked lengthwise by cones
for every two teams. (see diagram)

Inform kids to keep their head and eyes up to prevent running into another person
How to Play:
 The object of the game is for teams to score 21 points by completing passes in different
areas of the field.
 One team begins on the line of scrimmage and attempts to complete a pass within a zone
to score points.
 The teams switch from offense to defense after every 4 passes.
 All players must stay within the field.
 The defending team will cover the offensive team players to hold them to as few points as
possible
 The quarterback must stand behind the line of scrimmage.
 Points are scored for a catch at certain positions on the field and are determined by the
zone in which the ball is caught, not where the player runs.
 If a defensive team intercepts (catches) the ball from the offensive team, the defensive
team scores 3 points.
Alternate Names of the Game: In the Zone
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Arena/Flag Tag
Group Size: 15- 40
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, running and spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: Any type of flag or jersey (one per student)
Set-Up: A basketball court sized space. Evenly space cones on the outside of the boundaries.
Before You Start:
 Provide an example of where and how to place flags (in a pocket or waist band at least ¾
of the flag showing)
 Express the need for safe and fair play, including no flag guarding, rolling on the
ground, taking flags off the ground, or calling out “cheater”.
 Give students a safe way to express their needs to review the quality of the game, i.e.
approaching Coach or rock-paper-scissors.
 Review boundaries and rules, ask for questions.
How to Play:
 Everyone moves within the boundaries trying to avoid the each other.
 If a player grabs a flag, they must place it on the ground.
 Once a flag is on the ground, it is considered off limits.
 When a player loses her or his flag, s/he must get down on the ground (sitting or
kneeling).
 In order to get back off the ground, a player who is kneeling may grab a runner’s flag
and place the flag in her or his pocket.
Variations:
 Allow students to crawl on their knees while trying to regain a flag.
 Double Flag Tag: using two flags. Both flags must be pulled before the player goes
down to the ground.
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Flag Fake Out
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: 3rd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Evasion, agility, spatial awareness, peripheral vision, endurance and pacing
Equipment Needed: One or two flags per student, several cones
Set-Up: Open area
Before You Start:
 Designate a playing area large enough to run in (a large rectangle).
 Place cones on each baseline (width) if there are no lines.
 Divide the students into two teams with each team lined up on opposite base lines.
 Have cones placed a few feet behind the baseline marking where the single file line
should start.
 Designate one side as the defense and the other side as the offense.
 Review with students how to safely take someone’s flag, and how to ‘fake out’ the
defense.
How to Play:
 On the leader’s signal, the first two people in each line begin the game.
 The object is for the offense to run past the defense and reach the opposite baseline
without getting their flag taken.
 The offense can move in any direction while making their ‘fakes,’ but they must stay
within the boundaries.
 The defense is trying to take the offense’s flags.
 The play is over when either the offense reaches the baseline or gets their flags taken.
 When the play is over, the students go back to the end of the opposite line from which
they started.
Variation:
 If students are playing safely, the boundaries can be increased and each side can have two
or three team members going at the same time.
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Trivia Football
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork, and eye-hand coordination
Skills Practiced: Agility, throwing, catching, and safe tagging
Equipment Needed: One football; and cones, chalk, or tape for boundaries
Set-Up: Set-up large rectangular field with plenty of room for four students to run. Place two
cones a few feet apart on both of the far ends of the field.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into four groups. Have them line up with their assigned group behind the
cones at each end of the field, facing towards the middle. There should be two groups at
each end of the far ends of the field.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
How to Play:
 Explain to the students that both groups on the same side of the rectangle are a team.
 The students at the front of each line (four total, two on each side) are active each round.
 The adult stands near the middle holding the football and ask a question (math, spelling,
science, etc.) pertaining to something that class is learning. When the first person yells
out the correct answer, the adult throws him/her the football.
 The student with the football and his/her partner try to make it to the other end of the
field without being tagged by their two opponents.
 Students are allowed to pass the ball to their partner or run with it, but can only be tagged
when holding the ball.
 After a player is tagged, the ball hits the ground, or a team scores, all players return to
their original line and the next four players go.
Variations:
 Instead of tagging, can play with flags if equipment is available (good warm-up for flag
football)
 Can remove the trivia altogether and this game becomes a version of team fakeout
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Ultimate Football
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, cooperation, verbal communication and eye-hand
coordination.
Skills Practiced: Balance, agility, pivoting, throwing, catching and running
Equipment Needed: One football and several cones
Set-Up: Open area
Before You Start:
 Use the cones to create boundaries for a field with two end zones.
 Divide the students into two even teams.
 Have one student from each team do Ro-Sham-Bo to determine who has possession first.
 Line both teams up on each baseline of the field.
How to Play:
 On the leader’s signal, the team starting on defense throws or kicks (depending on skill
level) the ball to the offensive team.
 One player from the offense either catches the ball or picks it up where it lands, and tries
to pass it to one of his/her teammates.
 When anyone on either team has the ball, s/he can only use one pivot foot to move. They
cannot take steps or run with the ball.
 The offense tries to advance the ball down the field with passes, and scores a point if one
of the team members catches the ball in the end zone.
 The defense tries to block or knock down the ball to gain possession. If a ball is knocked
down or intercepted, play of the game is switched and the defense now becomes the
offense, heading toward their end zone.
Variations:
 Use different colored jerseys if necessary to clarify the teams, as directions change often
in this game and many students may get confused.
 For students just learning the game, allow one or two steps when they are throwing the
ball.
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Interception
Group Size: 3-25
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, running, evasion and defense.
Equipment Needed: At least one football
Set-Up: Open area
Before You Start:
 Get the students into 1-3 lines, depending on the size of the group.
 Explain the three main positions of the game: defender, receiver, and quarterback, as
well as the rotation of the positions.
How to Play:
 In each line, the first person goes down the field to start as the defender.
 The second person takes a step to the right to start as the receiver.
 The third person has the ball to start as the quarterback.
 When the quarterback says ‘hike,’ the receiver runs toward the goal line and the defender
moves toward the receiver.
 The quarterback is trying to throw the ball to the receiver so that s/he can catch it and run
to the end zone without being tagged.
 Several things will end the round of play:
 If the ball drops
 If the defender catches the ball
 If the defender tags the receiver
 If the receiver scores
 Once the round of play is over, the students switch positions.
 The quarterback becomes the receiver, the receiver goes down the field to become
the defender, and the defender gets back in line.
Variations:
 Have more than one receiver and defender.
 Allow handoffs as well.
 Apply the game to kickball with the positions of pitcher, kicker, and outfielder.
 Apply the game to basketball with the positions of point guard, forward, and defender.
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Core Games Modifications
Basketball
 Use various size balls (size, weight, texture, color)
 Allow traveling and two hand dribble
 Disregard three second lane violation
 Use larger/lower goal
 Slow the pace, especially when first learning
 If student uses wheelchair, allow him to hold ball on his lap while pushing wheelchair
 Use beeper ball, radio under basket for individual with visual impairment
Golf
 Use a club with a larger head, shorter/lighter club, or colored/larger balls
 Practice without a ball
 Use tee for all shots
 Shorten distance to hole
Soccer
 Use walking instead of running
 Have well defined boundaries
 Reduce playing area
 Play six-a-side soccer
 If student uses a wheelchair, allow him to hold ball on lap while pushing the wheelchair
 Use a deflated ball, nerf ball, beeper ball, brightly colored ball
 Use a target that makes noise when hit
Softball
 Use velcro balls and mitts
 Use larger or smaller bats
 Use a batting tee and Incrediballs or beeper balls
 Reduce the base distances
 Shorten the pitching distance
 If individual is in wheelchair, allow them to push ball off ramp, off lap, or from tee
 Provide a peer to assist
 Players without disabilities play regular depth defense
 Students without disabilities count to ten before tagging out person with disability
Tennis
 Use larger, lighter, and brightly colored balls
 Use shorter, lighter racquets or larger head racquets
 Slow down the ball
 Lower the net or do not use a net
 Hit ball off tee
 Allow a drop serve and stand closer to net on serve
 Do not use service court
 Use a peer for assistance
Volleyball
 Use larger, lighter, softer, bright colored balls
 Allow players to catch ball instead of volleying
 Allow student to self toss and set ball
 Lower the net and/or reduce the playing court
 Stand closer to net on serve and allow ball to bounce first
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Health and Fitness: FitKid Program
Playworks has created a Health and Fitness program called FitKid in an effort to address the need
for a radical shift in attitudes about children, physical activity, and educational priorities in the
United States. This Health and Fitness FitKid program introduces material that will enhance
children’s understanding of the physical body and how it works. The goal is to stimulate
discussion and projects that inspire motivation and curiosity about each child’s level of fitness.
We also hope to teach students how to set a series of short-term goals and offer fun and
interesting games, exercises, and activities to help children build endurance, strength, and
flexibility and plant seeds for lifelong health and well being.
The FitKid Program is organized into three sections: endurance, flexibility, and strength.
Endurance Activities



Minute Moves
Whistle Walk/Run
Pace Yourself
Flexibility Activities

Other Endurance Activities:
 Continuous Relays
 Dance Freeze
 Everyone’s It
 Capture the Flag
 Clap and Move
Flexibility Stations
o Forward Bend
o Lunge
o Calf Stretch
o Soaring Eagle
o Sitting Eagle
o Flamingo
Strength Activities



Partner Crunches
Leg Lifts for the Abs
Chest and Arms Strengthening Stations
o Bent leg push up
o Flexed arm hang or pull ups
o Strong arm
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Minute Masters
Group Size: 1-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To build endurance and develop an understanding of the importance of having a
healthy heart.
Skills Practiced: Jogging, jumping, running, dribbling, and following instructions.
Equipment Needed: None (Optional: Jump rope, basketball, bench.)
Set-Up: Make four clearly designated stations.
Before You Start:
 Divide students into four separate groups and have them gather in designated areas.
 Walk through and demonstrate each station as you explain it verbally.
How to Play:
 The students in station #1 will be asked to jog in place.
 The students in station #2 will be asked to do jumping jacks.
 The students in station #3 will be asked to jog in a large circle.
 The students in station #4 will be asked to walk at a natural pace.
 At the whistle, students do their station’s activity for one minute without stopping.
 At the one-minute whistle, students switch stations and begin the next task for one minute without
stopping.
Variation:
 For more advanced students include such activities as jumping rope continuously, dribbling a ball
while on the move, and stepping up and off a low bench.
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Whistle Walk/Run
Group Size: Any amount
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To gradually develop aerobic endurance
Skills Learned: Awareness of effort when exercising aerobically
Equipment Needed: A track, cones, or lines to mark a running area
Set-Up: Mark the running path with cones, chalk or painted lines.
Before You Start:
 The students can start in a huddled group or a line. Review boundaries or track.
 Demonstrate what the 1 and 2 whistle blows and the finish whistle blow sound like. While you
practice the whistle blows, have a student go through the motions of walking/running.
How to Play:
 The students have 10 minutes; within those 10 minutes, there are certain times when the
directions will be to walk, and other times when the directions will be to jog/run.
 One whistle blow means walk, two whistle blows means run.
 The goal is to be able to jog/run for the entire time until the walk whistle blows.
 The time period for walking and running will vary in length.
 Students begin walking at a one-whistle blow (in order to allow the body to warm-up).
 Passing is allowed, making sure that students are aware of their personal space as well as of the
other students.
 They will know they are at the end of the 10 minutes at a long sustaining whistle.
Variations:
 The students sprint (run as fast as they can) during the 2 whistle blows. This also helps increase
strength.
 The students can count and record the number of “laps” they do from start to finish. This helps
the students make, set, and see improvement towards goals.
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Pace Yourself
Group Size: 6-30
Age Group: 2nd -5th grades
Length of Activity: 2-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To pace oneself so one’s heart rate increases/decreases; to build endurance and
stamina; to practice setting and meeting goals.
Skills Practiced: How to pace and regulate effort
Equipment Needed: A track or circle running area.
Set-Up: Mark the running space with cones or chalk, if needed.
Before You Start:
 While the leader describes the activity, four students can demonstrate the jogging process and
how to set an easy, relaxed pace.
How to Play:
 Class forms a single file line (if the group is large, you can divide the group into two or three
smaller groups).
 The goal is for the group to jog around the running area without passing anyone and without
stopping until time is called.
 The main rules to follow are:
 Students must maintain their order at all times.
 Students are not allowed to pass other runners or interfere with others’ forward progress
(keep hands and feet to themselves).
Variations:
 Divide the class into groups of at least 6, but no more than 10. In this activity the leader sets an
easy pace, and when the leader says “Go!” the last person in line moves to the right of the line
and sprints (runs as fast as s/he can) ahead and becomes the first person in line. At this point, the
new leader slows down to match the previously set easy pace. Initially the last person needs to
wait until “go” is called to sprint ahead – as the groups’ understanding of the game progresses,
the last person in line can run and pass the group as soon as the previous last person becomes the
new leader. This activity adds a strength-building component to a good aerobic base activity.
 The mode of travel can be changed to walking only, skipping, jumping, jumping rope (everyone
has their own single size jump rope) and so on.
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Flexibility Stations
Group Size: 5-40
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 20-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To understand the muscles’ flexibility, names of muscles, and why they need
stretching.
Skills Practiced: Flexibility, proper stretching techniques, and balance
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Chalk out an area for the stretching circuit with specific sections for each stretch. Ideally this
area will be next to the school, so the students can do their forward bends with the comfort/confidence of
not having anyone behind them.
School or Other Building
Forward Bend
Lunge Land
Calf Stretch
Sitting Eagle
Soaring Eagle
Flamingo
Before You Start:
 Make sure all students understand proper form.
 Break the class into groups.
How to Play:
In this activity students will work on their flexibility with six activities: forward bend, lunge, calf stretch,
sitting eagle, soaring eagle, and flamingo. Groups spend three minutes in each area.

Forward Bend
This is targeted to work on your hamstrings and lower back. The muscle being stretched is the Bicep
Femoris, known as the lower hamstring, and your back, the lower Latissimus Dorsi. This is a good
stretch to eliminate the stiffness in the lower back and tightness in the hamstrings. Keep your knees
slightly bent. Reach both arms up straight above your body. Slowly lower your arms and upper body
until your back is perpendicular to your legs, making a “table” with your back. Let your arms and
head hang. The goal is to hold this stretch for 60 seconds. Start with 30 seconds and add time as the
students’ progress.
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
Lunge
This is targeted to stretch the anterior hip. The muscle you are trying to stretch
is called the Tensor Fasciae Latae. Extend the left leg back, knee bent, so that
the top of the foot is resting on the ground. Bend your front right knee leg
making sure the foot is flat and the knee is at 90 degrees. Gently lean your body
forward over the front foot, keeping your back and torso straight while
extending the hip. The goal is to hold this stretch for 60 seconds. Start with 30
seconds and add time as the students’ progress. Stretch both left and right legs
equally.


Calf Stretch
The muscle that will stretch is called the Gastrocnemius, also known as
calf. This stretch helps prevent the possibility of pulling/tightening of the
Stand with one foot in front of the other, shoulder width apart, with the
front foot facing forward and the back foot at a 45-degree angle. The
front knee is bent just far enough so it does not go past the foot and the
back leg is straight without the knee locking. Press the heel of the back
into the floor until a stretch is felt in the calf muscle. Count to 30. Switch
the back leg is now forward and repeat.
the
calf.
leg
so
Soaring Eagle
This stretches the triceps muscles. The muscle you are trying to stretch is called the
Triceps Brachii. Reach your left arm up as if you are waving to a friend, bend the
elbow and drop the forearm and hand behind your head. Reach your right arm behind
you, at rib height and see if you can clasp hands. Count to 30. If it is difficult for the
students to clasp hands you may also introduce this stretch with foot long strips of
cloths for students to hold onto until they become more flexible. Caution: Do not let
students help each other grasp hands as each student should only stretch as far as they
are able.


Sitting Eagle
This stretches the upper back. Hold both arms out in front of you with
palms up. Cross your right arm over your left. Bring your palms up
towards your face and then give yourself a high-five. Count to 60. Repeat
the left arm on top.
your
with
Flamingo
The muscle being stretched is the quadriceps, the large thigh muscle. It is a good
muscle to loosen up running. Stand on one foot. If balancing is a challenge, hold
onto the shoulder of a partner or a wall. Also try touching your nose or forehead
with one finger. Hold the other ankle with the opposite hand and raise the heel of
the lifted foot to the buttocks (or as close as comfortable). Keep your body
upright; do not jump while stretching. The goal is to hold this stretch for 60
seconds. Start with 30 seconds and add time as the students’ progress. Stretch
both left and right legs equally.
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Partner Crunches
Group Size: 5-40
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop an understanding of the stomach muscles and how they work, when to
rest, and working in pairs.
Skills Practiced: Proper curl up position, proper breathing and movement coordination, and an idea of
form over count
Equipment Needed: Mats, carpet squares or the mat under a play structure.
Set-Up: Set up an area with mats, carpet squares or on the padding under the play structure where
students can work in pairs or small groups.
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate the proper way to do crunches.
 Pair the students up.
How to Play:
 Crunches work primarily on the upper abdomen. The partner is watching in order to count, to
encourage the active student to take a break and to maintain the proper form.
 Correct form is when the heels never leave the ground, hands are free and not grabbing the head
and the neck is not straining. If any of these things happen, the child should stop and rest.
Children should go at their own pace, and not spend more than one minute for each turn.
 Lay on the back with the knees bent, feet on the floor, arms stretched down by the sides,
palms down not holding anything
 Take a big dragon breath in, and then slowly breathe out while sliding the hands down
closer to the feet by lifting the torso up off the mat. Then return the head to the floor,
letting the hands slide back. Students should take one breath lying down and then repeat.
 Goals are five repetitions for 1st & 2nd grades, 10 repetitions for 3rd & 4th grades and 15
repetitions for 5th grade, then have the partners switch. Each student should get three
turns.
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Leg Lifts for the Abs
Group Size: 5-40
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop an understanding of the stomach muscles and how they work, when to
rest, and working in pairs.
Skills Practiced: Proper breathing and movement coordination, strengthening the lower abdomen, and
the concept of form over count.
Equipment Needed: Mats, carpet squares or the mat under a play structure.
Set-Up: Set up an area with mats, carpet squares or on the padding under the play structure where
students can work in pairs or small groups.
Before You Start:
 First demonstrate, and then have students practice pointing and flexing their feet.
 Pair the students up.
How to Play:
 The partner is watching primarily to count and encourage the active student to stay in the proper
form, or take a break.
 Correct form is heels never landing completely on the floor and head never leaving the ground. If
either of these things happens, the child should stop and rest. Children should go at their own
pace, but should not spend more than one minute for each turn.
1. Lay on the back with the knees bent, lift the bottom off the ground, and then place the hands
down underneath the bottom, palms facing down.
2. Take a big dragon breath in and lift the feet off the ground, bringing your knees towards your
chest.
3. Slowly lower the feet towards the ground touching the heels gently then immediately bring
knees back up towards the chest.
4. Breathe and then point your feet and slowly lower them to the ground, this time touching the
toes gently and then immediately bringing them back up again. Repeat.
5. Goals are 10 repetitions for 1st & 2nd grades, 15 repetitions for 3rd, 4th & 5th grades then have
the partners switch. Each student should get three turns.
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Chest and Arms Strengthening Stations
Group Size: 5-40
Age Group: 1st -5th grades
Length of Activity: 20-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: To understand the chest and arm muscles and how they work.
Skills Practiced: Strengthening the chest area, learning proper push up and chin up position, proper
breathing and movement coordination, concept of form over count
Equipment Needed: Mats or the mat under a play structure
Set-Up: Have a designated area for each exercise.
Before You Start:
 These exercises take a fair amount of explanation on the first go around.
 Make sure all students understand proper form and the breathing of each exercise.
 Students are ready for push-ups when they understand banana back vs. good back and
how to coach each other using only one finger to touch the back corrections.
 Break the class into three groups.
How to Play:
In this activity students will work on their chest and arm muscles with three activities: bent leg push ups,
pull ups or bent arm hang, and strong arms. Groups spend three minutes in each area.
1. Bent leg push ups: Most students when trying to do push ups cannot hold their back flat this puts a lot of pressure on the lower back and can cause damage. To introduce this type of
push up, ask the students to raise their hand if they know an adult that complains about their
back (most children will). Tell them that you are teaching them this special push up that will
keep them from having an aching back when they get older. Pair students up so they can
coach each other on their form.
 Show an example of a bad push up with a curved banana back, then show a good bent leg
push up (explained below). Then ask the teacher to be your partner. Do a bent legged
push up with first collapsed shoulders, and have the teacher touch on your back with one
finger where you are collapsed, correct your form. Then again, with the middle of your
back in a banana shape, have the teacher touch you where to straighten out. Explain to the
students that you will have them do the same thing.
 Have one of the pair get on his/her knees with their upper legs straight off the ground so
they are tall.
 Tell the student to put his/her hands on the ground and walk them forward until the hands
are slightly forward of the shoulders.
 Breathe in as they come down, with elbows bending out to the side until the chin almost
touches the ground, then breathe out as they push back up.
 Goals are five repetitions for 1st & 2ndgrades, 10 repetitions for 3rd, 4th & 5th grades, then
have the partners switch. Each student should get three turns.
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2. Flexed Arm Hang or Pull-Ups (pull ups for 4th & 5th grades only): These work the arms,
chest and upper back. To do this exercise you need monkey bars and unless you have a
willing teacher to assist you, you can only work with one student at a time. Have students
who are waiting their turn cheer on the student whose turn it is (if class dynamics are very
positive) or stretching and practicing other exercises. Students who are finished can pair up
and do strong arms (see below).
 At the monkey bars have the student hang so the chin is above the bar, and elbows are in
by the side.
 Hold as long as possible. Make sure students are not resting the chin on the bar.
 Goals are five repetitions for 1st & 2nd, grades and 10 repetitions for 3rd, 4th & 5th then
have the partners switch. Each student should get three turns.
3. Strong arms: This is really a preparation for true push-ups. It works the upper chest, back
and arms. Do an example then have the students pair up, the partner watching for form and
counting by one, one thousand or Mississippi. Correct form is a completely flat back, with no
collapse in the shoulders. If either of these things happens, the child should stop and rest.
 Get into bent knee push up position with the hands directly below the shoulders.
 One leg at a time stretch out the legs straight behind, so that only the toes are on the
ground.
 Hold until tired or until there is a loss of form i.e. a collapse in the back or shoulders
 Have the partners switch. Each student should get three turns.
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Minute Moves
Minute Moves are useful, short activities that can be scheduled during reading or math blocks in the
morning. Typically these morning blocks cannot be interrupted by Class Game Time, which can make
scheduling difficult. This usually means that students are sedentary in their classroom for a couple of
hours at a time. Minute Moves allow you to lead 2-5 minute classroom activities where students perform
stretches and participate in low-intensity physical movements. The goal of Minute Moves is to provide
students with a quick break to increase blood-flow and classroom readiness. It is also a great opportunity
for you to develop a rapport with students and teachers that you are not able to schedule on a consistent
basis. It is imperative that Minute Moves sessions are highly structured so that students are able to
quickly return to classroom work afterwards. If possible, include academic pieces as part of your session,
such as using spelling words or math while stretching.
1. Opening (1 minute): Choose one of the following activities:
Stretches
Simon Says
Smile if You Love Me
Chair Aerobics
Story Time Warm Up
Hokey Pokey Aerobics
Surfing Warm Up
Hula-Hoop Circle
Move Your Body
What Changed?
2. Activity (3 minutes): Choose one of the following activities:
Ball Toss Race
Bullfrog Game
Bumpity Bump
Circle Animals
Concentration Crunch
Detective
Ducks Fly
Face to Face
Heads-Up
7-Up
Hokey Pokey Aerobics
Hula-Hoop Circle
All Tied Up
Hot Potato
Instant ID
Indoor Marco Polo
Up Down Stop Go
You Can Two Can Workout
Look Up
Move your Body
Partner to Partner
Pass the Ball
Phrase Game
Silent Ball
Simon Says
Smile if You Love Me
Story Time Warm Up
Sun Monarch
Surfing Warm Up
The Ball Toss Race
What Changed?
Wonder Ball
3. Cool Down (1 minute): Examplesmeditation, deep breathing, etc.
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Animals Two by Two
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: All ages
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop social comfort and creative thinking.
Skills Practiced: Awareness
Equipment Needed: Animal Cards with or without pictures depending on age group.
Set-Up: Play in a large open space. Make two identical sets of animal cards.
Before You Start:
 Begin the game by giving each student one animal card.
How to Play:
 Explain that s/he must move around the room while imitating the movements of the animal
whose name appears on the card (For younger students a picture may be necessary).
 As each student moves around the room, s/he must look for another who is imitating the same
animal.
 When a student finds her/his animal mate, the partners stand together until everyone has found a
mate.
Variation:
 For veteran players, try with everyone’s eyes closed as they make their animal noises. Check
Animal Farm on page 59.
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Boom-Sha-Boom
Group Size: 3-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop eye-hand coordination
Skills Practiced: Pacing and reflexes
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Have the students form a circle; students should have a little space between them.
Before You Start:
 Review the clapping motion, which is: clap your hands, then your hands go out like your giving
your two neighbors a high-five.
How to Play:
 Begin the clapping motion as soon as you start the words. There are four verses.
 Every verse is basically the same, but the body part changes.
 The verse: Czechoslovakia, boom-sha-boom, Yugoslavia, boom-sha-boom, let’s get the rhythm in
our _______ (do round motion only), we’ve got the rhythm in our _______ (do all the motions).
 Blank fillers:
 Round 1: hands (motion is three claps)
 Round 2: feet (three stomps) Second blank motion is 3 stomps then 3 claps.
 Round 3: head (shake head and say ay,ay,ay). Second motion is 3 head shakes,
stomps, and 3 claps.
 Round 4: hips (shake hips and say boing, boing, boing). Second motion is 3 hip shakes, 3
head shakes, 3 stomps, and 3 claps.
Variations:
 For more of a challenge, have students continuously walk in a circle.
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Boppity Bop Bop Bop
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication, strategic thinking, and eye-hand
coordination
Skills Practiced: Following directions, reflexes, and observation
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: The class should be standing in a circle, shoulder-to-shoulder
Before You Start:
 Go over instructions. Provide examples of each sequence and use call and response to
make sure students know how to play the game.
 All ties are resolved with Ro Sham Bo.
How to Play:
 The group gathers in a circle, with one student in the middle (selected by the leader).
 The student in the middle walks up to/points to a student in the circle and says “Boppity
bop bop bop.” If student in the middle completes the phrase before the other student says
“Bop,” the two switch places. If the student on the outside says “Bop” before the middle
student finishes the phrase, the game continues with the same student in the middle.
 The student in the middle can fake out students on the outside by simply pointing and
saying “Bop” to a student in the circle. If the outside student says “Bop,” the two
students switch places.
Variations:
 To make the game more challenging, add these commands:
 House: Student in the middle walks/points to a student and says “House.” The student
pointed to must squat down and say “Come in! Come in!” while making a “come here”
gesture with his/her hands. The two students on either side of the squatting student must
make a roof with their arms over the squatting student. The student who reacts last out of
the three goes in the middle.
 Airplane: Student in the middle walks/points to a student and says “Airplane.” The
student pointed to makes aviator sunglasses/goggles with his hands. The students on
either side make an airplane wing with the appropriate arm (student to the left sticks out
their left arm, student on the right their right).
 Palm Tree: Student in the middle walks/points to a student and says “Palm Tree.” The
student pointed to makes themselves a palm tree in the breeze with their arms in the air,
waving them side to side. The two students to the immediate left and right of the palm
tree do the hula dance.
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Bullfrog Game
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization and listening skills
Skills Practiced: Gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Circle the students, with their hands outstretched sideways with their palms facing up. The right
hand should be on top of their neighbor's left hand (continuous around the circle).
How to Play:
 The leader begins the chant and a slap is passed around the circle along with the chant, "Down by
the banks of the hanky panky, where the bullfrog jumps from bank to banky, with an E, I, O, U, it
got on a lily with a big kerr-plop! (Some students seem to know another version, but this one is
shorter and easier to remember...).
 When you get to the kerr-plop on the last beat the person tries to move his or her hands before
they are slapped.
 If they move their hand before it is hit, the one who hit his or her own hand is out, if they don't
move it in time, the person who's hand was hit is out.
 The players who are out move to the outside of the circle and help sing the song.
Variations:
 With younger students (K-1st), when they get out let them sit in the middle as “chicken soup.”
Then students don’t lose interest too quickly and they stay part of the game.
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Bumpity Bump Bump
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase listening skills, social comfort, memorization and to learn everyone’s
name.
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness and quick reflexes
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Cafeteria, auditorium, classroom.
Before You Start:
 The group forms a circle with Player 1 in the center.
How to Play:
 Player 1 walks up to a player in the circle and says one of four things: “Left,” “Right,”
“Straight,” or “Center,” followed immediately by the phrase, “Bumpity-Bump, Bump, Bump.”
 Player 2 must make the correct response before Player 1 finishes saying “Bumpity-Bump, Bump,
Bump.”
 The correct response for the command “left” is the name of the person on Player Two’s left; for
“right,” it’s the name of the person on his or her right, for “straight,” it’s his or her own name;
and for “center,” it’s the name of Player 1 (in the center).
 If Player 2 responds correctly and in time, Player 1 repeats the process with another player.
 If Player 2 responds incorrectly or too late, s/he takes the center position.
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Cha-Cha Slide
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-12th grades
Length of Activity: 15-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: This goal of this game is to increase aerobic fitness through dance.
Skills Practiced: Following instructions
Equipment Needed: CD player and the Cha-Cha Slide CD
Set-Up: Cafeteria, gym, classroom with chairs and desks to the side.
Before You Start:
 Make sure there is ample space for children to stand side by side.
 Emphasize safety and remind students they should not touch anyone else during the dance.
How to Play:
 In this activity, students listen and dance to the instructions of the song and the adult.
Variations:
 For younger students, adult can face same direction as the students.
 Adult or students can add their own dance moves.
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Chair Aerobics
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 15-25 minutes
Developmental Goal: To practice listening to directions and understand the importance of exercise.
Skills Practiced: Following instructions, breathing and flexibility
Equipment Needed: Chairs, either cafeteria, classroom, or gym
Set-Up: If possible, have students move their chairs several feet away from their desks in classroom.
Before You Start:
 Begin with a warm up with slow music, if available.
 After four or five minutes of stretching, switch to faster music and lead students through several
chair exercises.
 Review boundaries and rules, ask for questions.
How to Play:
 While sitting on their chair have them: Hold the bottom of the chair with both hands and raise
alternate knees up and down.
 Reach down to the floor with the left hand then the right hand.
 Hold the bottom of the chair with both hands and alternate lifting each leg straight up to seat
level and down again.
 Stand in front of the chair and place the hands on either side of the chair, raise the right leg
backwards straight up and down 10 times, and then repeat with the left leg.
Variation:
 Increase breath counts and reps for older students.
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Chuck Race
Group Size: 10-25
Age Group: 1st-4thgrades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork, non-verbal communication, strategic thinking,
and planning
Skills Practiced: Following directions, gross muscle control, and ball placement
Equipment Needed: 1 rubber chicken
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Children should be standing behind their desks with their chair pushed in.
 Explain that during this activity, they will not be able to talk.
 The group’s goal is to beat the clock. They want to accomplish the task as quickly as possible.
How to Play:
 When the adult says the magic word, s/he will start a stopwatch and pass Chuck (the chicken) to
one student.
 That student will walk to another student, hand over Chuck to that student, and sit in that
student’s chair.
 Play continues. Each time a student gets the chicken, s/he walks to another student, hands over
the chicken, and sits in the other student’s seat.
 Play continues until all of the students are sitting. The last student to be standing must bring
Chuck to the leader, at which point the time is stopped and announced.
Alternate Names:
 This is a variation of Ball Toss Race. It can, however, be done in a classroom with no extra space
for a circle. It doesn’t involve throwing, so it can work almost anywhere.
Variations:
 With older students or for an additional challenge, have each student only pass to someone not in
their section of the room etc. (Without this rule, strategic groups may discover they can just pass
Chuck to someone next to them in order to pass him faster.)
 Set a realistic time goal and debrief what worked and what the group wants to change to make it
go faster. (Work together, come up with a plan, etc.)
 Give a five second penalty for any noise.
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Circle Animals
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: all ages
Length of Activity: 15-25 minutes
Developmental Goal: The object of this game is for students to think quickly and work together.
Skills Practiced: Following instructions, concentration, and flexibility
Equipment Needed: Cafeteria, classroom, gym
Set-Up: Clear open space
Before You Start:
 Begin in a circle.
 Choose two or three animals to mimic
 Review the sounds and actions of each animal with students.
 Demonstrate how each animal formation will look.
 Review boundaries and rules, ask for questions.
How to Play:
 All students begin in a circle, with one student chosen to be in the center of the circle.
 The student in the center will point to a student on the circle and call out an animal.
 The student, who is pointed to, along with the student to his/her right and left, has to create the
animal named.
 If the student in the center points to Joe and says, “Rabbit”, Joe holds 2 fingers over his head
making rabbit ears.
 The 2 students next to Joe each tap one foot on the ground to mimic hopping.
 Students who do not do the correct movement are out.
 These students now move to the center of the circle and choose animals for people to create.
 Game continues until only three students are left.
Variations:
 Other animals include: Elephant – middle: makes trunk with arm, left and right: make ears by
placing arms in ½ circle shapes next to head of middle. Cat – middle: makes claws with hands,
left and right: use fingers of one hand to create whiskers next to face of middle.
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Concentration Crunch
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: all ages
Length of Activity: 25-30 minutes
Developmental Goal: Students will increase listening, memorization, and numbers abilities.
Skills Practiced: Core strength, abdominal crunches, sequencing
Equipment Needed: An open space in a cafeteria, classroom, gym
Set-Up: If possible, have students move their chairs several feet away from their desks if you’re using a
classroom.
Before You Start:
 Begin with a warm up of stretches.
 Review the correct way of performing an abdominal crunch.
 Practice a few reps of abdominal crunches.
 Have the students sit in a circle.
 Instruct them to count off around the circle starting with the number one, and tell them that they
MUST remember their numbers.
How to Play:
 The game begins with one student, chosen by the adult, calling out a random number.
 The person whose number is called must immediately call out another number.
 If a student significantly hesitates, s/he will perform five abdominal crunches.
 The student then calls out a new number and the game continues.
Variation:
 Increase breath counts and reps for older students.
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Dance Move
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To share and learn about one another, and develop social comfort
Skills Practiced: Balance, body and spatial awareness, following directions, and observation
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 All students and adults should be standing in a circle.
 Explain ground rules: no touching anyone or anything, no falling down, keep it appropriate
(consequences as appropriate by grade, jumping jacks, a time out, etc.).
How to Play:
 With one student in the center of the circle, doing whatever dance they want, (within the
previously stated safety rules), everyone claps and chants this song:
 Let me see your dance move,
Your dance move,
Your dance move.
Let me see your dance move,
Your dance move at this school.
 Immediately afterwards, everyone joins in and does the same dance that the student in the middle
did while chanting:
 We can do it too,
And too,
And too.
We can do it too,
We can do your dance move!
 The group chants both parts, and the student in the middle closes his/her eyes and spins around.
The group counts to ten and on the count of ten, the student in the middle freezes. Whoever s/he
is pointing to is the next person in the middle.
 If the person chosen randomly does not want to go in the middle, they have the right to pass. The
adult points to the next person in the circle until there is a volunteer.
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Detective
Group Size: 20-30
Age Group: All ages
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization.
Skills Practiced: Observation
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Classroom, other indoor space
Before You Start:
 This game can be played in a circle or at their desks.
 Roll call with every student to check if there is a student who does not know everyone’s names.
How to Play:
 One student leaves the room and becomes the detective.
 Choose one student to hide in a place in the room where they will not be visible.
 The rest of the circle changes places or changes seats.
 Call the detective back into the room.
 The detective then tries to guess who is hidden.
 If s/he guesses correctly, s/he is the detective again.
 If s/he is wrong, the hiding student is the new detective.
Variations:
This game can be played in a circle or at their seats. If they are at their seats, all students must trade seats
before the detective enters the room.
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Duck, Duck, Goose
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: Pre-K – 3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop social comfort.
Skills Practiced: Running, safe tagging and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Gather the students in a circle, sitting down.
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
How to Play:
 One student is chosen as the fox and walks around the group, lightly touching each player on the
head while saying “Duck,” with each touch.
 When the student says “Goose”, the person who was touched gets up and tries to tag the fox.
 Once the fox picks a goose, s/he is trying to run around the circle and sit down where the goose
was.
 If the fox gets tagged, s/he goes into the middle, the cooking pot, for one round.
 The goose, then becomes the next fox and another round begins.
Variations:
 Students stay in the cooking pot until there are 5 people, then they can re-join the game.
 Duck, Duck Splash: Instead of tapping students on the head while saying “duck”, give the fox a
half cup of water to dip their fingers in and flick a bit of water on each person. When the fox
wants to choose a goose s/he dumps the remaining water on their head and says “splash!”
 Allow students options to play without getting wet.
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Ducks Fly
Group Size: 10-25
Age Group: K- 2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: Develop the ability to listen to directions.
Skills Practiced: Following directions and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Have students stand next to their desks
 Randomly choose a leader
How to Play:
 The leader will stand in front of the class and call out “Ducks Fly.”
 The students must now begin to flap their wings.
 The leader will continue to call out animals by saying, for example, “Birds Fly” or “Crows Fly.”
As long as the leader calls out an animal that flies, the students will continue to flap their wings.
 If the leader says an animal that does not fly the class should stop flapping their wings.
 Students caught continuing to flap must sit down.
 Choose a new leader after every four or five animals are called.
 The round continues until four or five students are left standing.
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Heads-Up, 7-Up
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: All ages
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: Practicing strategic thinking and learning names.
Skills Practiced: Following instructions and listening
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Play in a classroom or cafeteria
Before You Start:
 Review rules and boundaries.
How to Play:
 Seven students are tags.
 They stand in front of the room and say, "Heads down, thumbs up!" and the rest of the class puts
their heads down with their thumbs up.
 Every tagger goes around and taps one thumb.
 When they are done the seven tags say, "Heads-up, 7-up!"
 Then the tagged people stand up and try to guess who tagged them. If they guess correctly, they
switch places.
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Hokey Pokey Aerobics
Group Size: 10-40
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop the ability to listen to directions.
Skills Practiced: Gross motor control, balance and social comfort
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Gather the students in a circle
How to Play:
 Use a recording of the Hokey Pokey, or have the students sing it themselves.
 Sing while doing the corresponding movement:
 Put your right foot in (lunge forward on the right leg)
Put your right foot out (return to standing position)
Put your right foot in and shake it all about (lunge forward on right leg and lightly bounce
up in down in lunge position)
Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around (do jumping jacks while turning in a
circle)
 Repeat above but do the opposite for the left leg.
 Continue to sing while working the following body parts
 Right arm and Left arm (in-extend arm at the elbow, out-flex arm at the elbow, shakebicep curls)
 Head (in-slowly touch chin to chest, out-back to starting position, shake- slowly side to
side)
 Right hip and left hip (in-side jump in, out-side jump out, shake- jump side to side)
 Whole self (in- forward jump, out- backward jump, shake-jump in and out)
 Backside (in- backward jump in, out-backward jump out, shake- jump in and out)
 Finish with “Do the Hokey Pokey and turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!”
 End with partner high-fives.
Variation:
 Each time your turn yourself around you can incorporate different movements
 Hopping on one foot
 Running in place
 Leg squats
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Hot Potato
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To practice hand-eye coordination
Skills Practiced: Following instructions, hand-eye coordination and spatial awareness.
Equipment Needed: At least one ball, or something to pass
Set-Up: If playing in a classroom, push desks and chairs to make room to form a circle (if possible)
Before You Start:
 Warm-up tossing the ball from student to student with safe throws (under-hand).
 Have students form a circle or stand next to their desks
 Review rules and boundaries.
How to Play:
 Pass the ball around the circle or class without dropping the ball.
 If someone drops it, they sit in the center ("hot potato soup" pot).
 After the end of each round, increase the speed that the ball is tossed around the circle.
Variations:
 With younger students K to first grade, sit in a circle; start out first handing, then rolling the ball,
then transition into tossing.
 If you do not have music…Students sit in a circle and pass a ball in one direction. Students
should pass the ball as quickly as possible with out throwing or dropping it. The whole group
says the verse as the ball is passed. The student holding the ball when the verse ends must do 5
jumping jacks before returning to the game. Verse: “Pass the ball round and round. Pass is
quickly or you’ll be found. If you’re the one to hold it last, you will owe 5 jumping jacks. You
are it!”
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Indoor Marco Polo
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: 3rd – 8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop on cooperation, teamwork, verbal communication and listening to
directions.
Skills Practiced: Following directions, spatial and physical awareness
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Small area or classroom
Before You Start:
 Choose one student to be ‘it’ and another student to be his/her guide.
 Have the rest of students spread out in the space and review that they are walking, not running.
 Review the boundaries with the students.
How to Play:
 The student that is ‘it’ closes his/her eyes and calls out ‘Marco’ and all the other students respond
‘Polo.’
 The student that is ‘it’ moves toward the rest of the students, trying to tag them, with help from
the guide, who places his/her hands on the shoulders of the student that’s ‘it’ and directs him/her
away from objects throughout the room.
 When someone is tagged, the student who was ‘it’ becomes the new guide.
Variation:
 To increase difficulty, the guide can talk the person around obstacles instead of using his/her
hands on shoulders.
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Instant ID
Group Size: 6-20
Age Group: 1st- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and learn everyone’s name
Skills Practiced: Quick reflexes
Equipment Needed: A blanket or something that acts like a curtain
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Divide into two teams.
 Have two people hold a large, thick blanket up like curtain
How to Play:
 Have a person from each team stand facing each other with the blanket between, then quickly
drop the blanket.
 First one to correctly say the other person's name earns a point for his team.
Variations:
 Have teams line up with their backs to each other, choose a person from each team to walk
backwards until their backs are almost touching. Allow the other players to face each other. The
team gives their player in the middle hints to who is standing behind them.
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Look Up
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop the ability to listen to directions and increase social comfort.
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Begin with two circles of players
 Make sure students knows how to react to the commands
How to Play:
 One person is chosen in each circle to be the caller who starts by saying, “Look down!”
 Everyone looks down at their feet
 When the caller says “Look up!” everyone looks up directly at someone else in that circle (no fair
looking around).
 If two people are looking at each other, they both go to the other circle.
 If caller leaves the circle, a new caller is chosen.
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Magic Ball
Group Size: 5-25
Age Group: K-2nd grades
Length of Activity: 5-8 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop creative thinking and cooperation
Skills Practiced: Throwing, catching, and following directions
Equipment Needed: One ball
Set-Up: Have students sit in a circle.
Before You Start:
 Talk about how to pass a ball, not throw it at the person next to them
How to Play:
 In the circle, have students think of three magic words.
 Repeat and practice the magic words in a particular order a few times.
 Come up with what the magic ball is going to turn into (ex. a sticky ball), say the magic words
and all of a sudden the ordinary recess ball turns into a magic ball. Pick up the ball and pass it in a
sticky motion... hands sticking to the sides of the ball.
 Have each student take a turn with the magic ball. Once the ball gets back to you place it back in
the center of the circle and come up with a new magic ball (ex. a heavy ball, an apple, a slippery
ball, take student ideas).
Variations:
 Have students stand up in a circle, make the circle bigger or smaller. Use different types of
passing (ex. bounce pass, chest pass, rolling).
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Mouse Trap
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, teamwork and strategic thinking.
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness, agility and reflexes
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Choose 6 students make a "trap" by making a circle holding hands
 Remind students to be aware of others around them
How to Play:
 One child is a "cat" with his or her back to the circle, but part of the circle.
 All other students are mice going in and out of the "trap."
 When the cat yells "snap!", the arms of the trap goes down to catch mice.
 The caught mice then become part of the "trap".
 When only one student is left, the game ends and s/he become the cat for the next round.
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Musical Chairs
Group Size: 6-25
Age Group: K-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking, listening to directions and social comfort.
Skills Practiced: Following directions and reflexes
Equipment Needed: Chairs/ cones (one chair less than the number of students participating) and music
Set-Up: Arrange chairs in a circle with the seats facing outwards
Before You Start:
 Students are gathered in a circle around the chairs
How to Play:
 Play the music and have the students walk around the perimeter of the chair circle.
 When the music stops, the students have to immediately sit in a chair.
 The one person left standing it out.
 Remove another chair and continue until only one student is left.
Variation:
 Remove one chair after each round but keep every student in the game. The challenge then is to
get every student seated on a diminishing number of chairs. In other words, they have to share
chairs.
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Mystery Creature
Group Size: 3-40
Age Group: 3rd–8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop verbal communication, strategic thinking, and creative thinking
Skills Practiced: Forming thoughtful questions
Equipment Needed: Small pieces of paper, pen, tape (optional)
Set-Up: Write the names of several different animals on the small sheets of paper
Before You Start:
 Review with students how to frame “yes or no” questions.
 Give students ideas for clue-finding questions, such as the animal’s environment/habitat,
physical traits, etc.
How to Play:
 Stick an animal to the forehead of one student, not allowing him/her to see what’s written. The
student then asks yes or no questions to try and guess the animal that’s been assigned. Examples:
“Am I big?,” “Do I have scales?,” “Am I a mammal?”
Variations:
 Pass the animal card to all students except for one instead of sticking the name to the student’s
forehead.
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Oh, The Place You’ll Go!
Group Size: 8-30 students
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, goal setting, planning, and creative thinking
Skills Practiced: Running and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Make sure to have a large playing area, with four corners and a place for one person to stand in
the middle.
Before You Start:
 Talk about goals the students might have in life.
 Talk about the use and importance of the imagination.
 Tell students which corner is #1, 2 3 and 4.
How to Play:
 Have one student stand in the middle; s/he is driving the “Go Wherever We Want Ship”.
 The driver will cover their eyes and count to ten. By the time s/he gets to ten, all of the students
should be in one of the four corners.
 Before opening his/her eyes, the driver picks one of the corners. S/he then looks and tells
everyone what kind of creature s/he sees – real or imaginary.
 The people in that corner have to act like that creature (or their best interpretation of it) while the
people in the other corners are taking pictures of what they see.
 Switch drivers after each round.
Variations:
 To focus more on goals, have the driver say what kind of profession/job/activity s/he sees people
doing.
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One Word
Group Size: 8-30
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem-solving and brainstorming
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: Whiteboard/chalkboard
Set-Up: Indoor space with a white board, chalkboard, or notepad
Before You Start:
 Divide the group into two (or more) teams.
 Remind the students that no actions are allowed, only one word clues.
How to Play:
 Select one volunteer from each team to come to the front of the room and face the class.
 Write down a word that can be easily seen by the rest of the class, but not the volunteers.
 Each team must brainstorm a one word clue to try to help their volunteer teammate guess the
word. For example, if the word is “Basketball”, the team could give clues like “hoop” or “sport”.
They could not say something like “Boston Celtics” or “dribbling down the court”. You can also
not say part of the word, like “ballin’”.
 Alternate clues and guesses until one person guesses correctly. Take two new volunteers and give
the group a new clue.
Variations:
 If the group is very good at the game, offer up phrases as clues instead of single words.
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Partner to Partner
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: All ages
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To increase social comfort and develop listening skills.
Skills Practiced: Following instructions, spatial awareness and learning body parts
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Gym or classroom. If in a classroom, push tables and chairs back.
Before You Start:
 Warm-up with some basic stretches and a bit of cardio.
 Circle students.
 Review rules and boundaries.
 Review different body parts. For instance: elbow, knees, toes, pinky, thumb, etc.
How to Play:
 One player is chosen to stand in the center; everybody else partners up and stands in the circle
with their partners next to them so they and their partners are next to each other.
 Player in the middle calls out commands such as "elbow to elbow," "back to back," "knee to
knee". Players take these positions accordingly.
 When the person in the middle calls "partner to partner", all the players have to find a new partner
while the person in the middle tries to get a partner.
 If they are successful the person left without a partner becomes the new person in the middle and
starts to give commands.
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Phrase Game
Group Size: 6-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop social comfort and memorization.
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Each student selects a different phrase. (Have them make up their own, or have students pull
phrases out of a hat.)
How to Play:
 All students say their phrase out loud one at a time.
 Leader chooses one student to begin the game. First student says their own phrase, then the
phrase of another student.
 The student whose phrase was said, then says their own phrase and the phrase of another student.
 If a player hesitates or fails to recognize their phrase, they are out.
 For example: Will’s phrase is “PLAYWORKS rocks!” Tamika’s phrase is “There is no I in
TEAM.” James’ phrase is “I like candy.” Will begins the game saying, “PLAYWORKS rocks!
There is no I in TEAM.” It is then Tamika’s turn to respond because her phrase was called out.
Tamika says, “There is no I in TEAM. I like Candy.” It would then be James’ turn, and so on.
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Real Close
Group Size: 5-20
Age Group: 2nd – 8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking, eye-hand coordination and teamwork.
Skills Practiced: Spatial awareness, throwing and depth perception
Equipment Needed: As many cones as students (several different colors of cones as well)
Set-Up: Small area or classroom
Before You Start:
 Arrange the cones in a circle as home bases for each individual student and assign the teams
based on what color cone the student has (i.e. all students with red home bases will be the red
team).
 Set an object in the middle of the circle as a target.
How to Play:
 Going around the circle, each team member throws his/her cone toward the target.
 If a cone lands on top of the target, the team gets 5 points.
 If a cone lands to be touching the target, the team gets 3 points.
 If a cone lands within the leader’s foot length from the target, the team gets 1 point.
 After all students have thrown their cones, the points are added up for the teams.
 Note – no points are awarded until all cones are thrown, so it is possible to knock another
students’ cone out of point range.
Variations:
 Change the point system – award points for throwing a cone on top of another player’s cone,
award fewer points (make the team scores closer together)
 Move the target closer or farther away (adjust difficulty level)
Alternate Names of the Game: Close Enough
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Recycle Ball
Group Size: 3-30
Age Group: PreK-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop teamwork, cooperation, and social comfort
Skills Practiced: Following directions, passing a ball, and eye-hand coordination
Equipment Needed: 1 playground ball and a recycling bin
Set-Up: Place the recycling bin in the middle of a large circle.
Before You Start:
 Have the group sit in a big circle.
 Emphasize the importance of cheering on their classmates and being positive.
 Have the group practice passing the ball hand to hand around the circle while singing the song the
group has chosen.
 Emphasize that the ball should be passed hand to hand, not thrown or rolled across the circle.
 Emphasize that the only time a student should stand up is when they are holding the ball at the
end of the song. Only the leader (or a pre-selected student) can touch the recycling bin and
retrieve the ball.
How to Play:
 Let the group pick a song they want to sing.
 While singing the song pass the ball hand to hand around the circle.
 When the song ends, the person holding the ball stands up and tries to throw the ball into the
recycling bin from where they are standing.
 The leader retrieves the ball, gives the thrower a high five, prompts a positive response from the
group, and starts the game/song again with a new student.
Variations:
 With PreK, let each student try throwing the ball into the recycling bin before starting the game
and make sure the group shouts "Good try _____(students’ name)" for each person.
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Rhythm Detective
Group Size: 10-25
Age Group: 3rd- 6th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation, problem-solving and creative thinking.
Skills Practiced: Keeping a rhythm and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Students begin in a circle
How to Play:
 A person is chosen to leave the room.
 A student in the circle is chosen to start a rhythm with their hands, feet or body.
 Everyone in the circle copies the rhythm.
 The leader of the rhythm can change it every few seconds and the rest of the group changes as
well.
 The person who has been out of the room returns and tries to notice who is leading the rhythm.
 They have three guesses.
 If they guess, the leader of the rhythm becomes the detective and the previous detective chooses
the next rhythm leader.
 If they can’t guess in three guesses, they choose the next detective and someone else gets chosen
for the rhythm leader.
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Safari
Group Size: 2-50
Age Group: K-3rd grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening to directions and creative thinking
Skills Practiced: Following directions and gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: One chair; something to serve as a steering wheel, if desired.
Set-Up: Select one student to lead a group of tourists on a safari. That student can sit in the chair and the
other students remain in the playing area.
Before You Start:
 If inside, remind the students that the tour bus is at a safe distance from the animals, meaning that
even though animals are loud, we should only hear a dull roar from them at most. If outside, it
doesn’t matter and we can be more adventuresome by taking tourists closer to the animals.
 For younger groups, go over what kinds of animals we might see in jungles, plains, or deserts.
 Remind the students about safe play, especially if indoors.
How to Play:
 The tour guide is driving a bus of tourists through the African jungle, plains, and deserts. On the
way they spot different animals and let the passengers know what they see. Whatever animal the
tour guide sees, the rest of the players have to act like that animal.
 Switch tour guides after 3-5 animals.
Variations:
 Switch the location of the tour. You could go to the Arctic, a farm, down a river, etc.
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Sandman
Group Size: 15-30
Age Group: 3rd grade and up
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop non-verbal communication and social comfort
Skills Practiced: Following directions and observation
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 All students are sitting in a circle with legs crossed.
 Students should close/cover their eyes while leader picks one person to be the ‘sandman’ (by
lightly tapping him/her on the head one time) and one person to be the ‘alarm clock’ (by lightly
tapping him/her on the head two times).
How to Play:
 Once the roles are chosen, students open their eyes.
 The ‘sandman’ can put people to sleep by winking at them.
 If a student is winked at, he/she should silently count to ten, and then place their hands together
next to their cheek to indicate that they are sleeping.
 The alarm clock can wake up ‘sleeping’ students by looking at a sleeping student and touching
his/her own nose. If the ‘alarm clock’ is put to sleep, he/she can no longer wake others up.
 Players can try to guess who the ‘sandman’ is, but only while they are still in the game.
 If a student guesses incorrectly, they become tired and fall asleep until the round is over.
Variation:
 This game can also be played without an ‘alarm clock’. Students that the ‘sandman’ winks at fall
asleep for the rest of the game.
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Silent Ball
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: Pre K- 6th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop non-verbal communication and eye-hand coordination.
Skills Practiced: Throwing and catching
Equipment Needed: A ball
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Students spread out in playing area standing up
How to Play:
 Leader counts down, “3, 2, 1, Silent.”
 Students pass the ball to another person in the play area.
 A student must sit down if:
 S/he drops the ball
 S/he makes a bad pass
 They talk or make noise.
 Play continues until only one student remains.
 Last student to remain standing gets to be first to throw the ball in the next round.
 All students who were out can return to play at the start of a new round.
 If game is progressing slowly, add to challenge by limiting time to throw, having all students take
steps back, keep one hand behind back at all times and so on.
Variations:
 Pre-K Variation: Have students sit or stand in a circle. See if they can pass the ball around the
circle without anyone laughing or talking. Add more balls for a challenge round.
 Silent Trees! Start with students sitting on the ground, when a player is out s/he stands up and
becomes a tree. Trees must remain planted i.e they cannot move his/her feet. The tree can re-enter
the game by deflecting or intercepting a pass. The person who was unsuccessful at making a pass
becomes a tree.
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Silent Ball at the Museum
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: 1st-8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-25 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop non-verbal communication, eye-hand coordination, listening to directions,
and social comfort
Skills Practiced: Throwing and catching
Equipment Needed: Playground ball(s)
Set-Up: Classroom/other indoor space or outdoor area with clearly defined boundaries.
Before You Start:
 The leader chooses one student to be the “Night Guard” or “Janitor”
 To start, count down “5, 4, 3, 2, 1… Frozen!”
How to Play:
 As the name indicates, this game is a combination of Night at the Museum/Janitor and Silent Ball
 Elements from both games apply:
1. Silent Ball: students must remain completely silent while passing a ball around the room.
2. Night at the Museum/Janitor: when the Night Guard/Janitor is looking at you, you must
remain frozen. When their back is turned, you are free to move around.
 Ways for students to get out: moving while the Night Guard is looking at them, making any kind
of noise, making a bad pass or dropping the ball.
 If the ball is thrown from a student who is behind the Night Guard’s back to a student in front of
the Night Guard, that student may move to catch the ball without being called out. However,
once they have caught the ball they must remain frozen until the Night Guard looks away from
them.
Variations:
 Add more balls (increase complexity, challenge students more)
 Add more night guards (greatly increase complexity, challenge students a lot more)
 Make it a challenge to see how many passes students can complete without anyone getting out.
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Smile if You Love Me
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop social comfort and creative thinking.
Skills Practiced: Gross muscle control
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Have the students form a circle and place one student in the center of the circle.
How to Play:
 The object of the game is for the student in the middle to make another student smile while those
around him try to keep from smiling.
 The student in the middle will choose any other student, stand directly in front of him or her, and
say, “Smile if You Love Me.”
 The center student may also make funny faces, but may not touch his/her classmate. In response,
the circle member must try to keep a straight face.
 If the student does not smile, s/he remains part of the bigger circle.
 If the student does smile, s/he must join the center student in trying to make someone else smile.
 The game continues until everyone is smiling.
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Sun Monarch
Group Size: 5-20
Age Group: 3rd-6th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills and creative thinking
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 The group stands at one end of the room in a line.
How to Play:
 One person stands in the middle of the room and says, “I am the sun.”
 The first person from the line steps forward, faces the group and tells something that relates to the
sun, such as “I am the light” or “I am the heat.”
 It can also be the opposite, like “I am the dark” or “I am the cold.” Finally, it can be other
meanings of the word or the sound of the word. Sun may be interpreted as son so that the person
could say, “father” or “sister.”
 The two people trade places and the new person repeats what she just said.
 The next person steps up and gives a new word that relates to that word.
Variation:
 You can begin with any subject matter.
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Surfing Warm Up
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills.
Skills Practiced: Endurance, gross muscle control and balance
Equipment Needed: CD player, the song Wipe Out
Set-Up:
Before You Start:
 Have students spread out with plenty of personal space.
 Start the music.
How to Play:
 When the drums are playing have the students do a specific movement (pretend to drum to the
beat, jog in place, dance, etc.).
 When the music changes, have the students pretend to be surfing. Have them stretch and lean in
different ‘surfing’ positions, working on maintaining their balance.
 The activity will repeat itself as the music style in the song changes.
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The Bone
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 2nd-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking and listening skills.
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: Something to act as a "bone" and a blindfold
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Form a circle students sitting down.
 Pick one child to be the dog. The dog sits in the center of the circle on a chair, blindfolded,
guarding his or her "bone" (placed under the chair).
 The rest of the students are silent.
How to Play:
 The leader chooses one student by silently pointing to them to try to steal the bone without
getting caught.
 The dog has to bark and point in the direction from which s/he thinks the stealer is approaching.
 The dog only gets three chances to bark.
 If the stealer makes it back to his or her spot before the dog catches him or her, the stealer gets to
be the dog.
 If the dog catches the stealer, the game continues with the same dog and the leader chooses a
different stealer.
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This is a…
Group Size: 5-15
Age Group: 4th -8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop cooperation and keeping a rhythm.
Skills Practiced: Quick reflexes
Equipment Needed: A variety of classroom objects
Set-Up: This game can be difficult to get the hang of, but is very funny once you do
Before You Start:
 Students begin in a circle.
How to Play:
 All objects will be passed to the right. There is a series of exchanges that need to occur before the
object can be passed from one person to another.
 The person with the object (Player 1) turns to the person on their right (Player 2) and says,
 Player 1, “This is a pencil.”
 Player 2, “A what?”
 Player 1, “A pencil.”
 Player 2, “A what?”
 Player 1, “A pencil.”
 Player 2, “Oh, a pencil.”
 The object can then be passed. This exchange must be completed for each item to be passed.
 Start different objects in different parts of the circle to add to the challenge. If you are good, you
can pass an object at the same time as you are receiving an item.
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This is My Nose
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop problem-solving and listening to directions
Skills Practiced: Following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 The group forms a circle, standing shoulder to shoulder.
How to Play:
 The leader starts in the center, walks up to a player in the circle, points to his or her own elbow
and says, “This is my nose.”
 The player must point to his or her nose and say, “This is my elbow.”
 The leader goes up to another player, points to another body part and misnames it.
 In order to move out of the middle, the center person must make a player in the circle mess up
and say or point to the wrong body part.
 When this happens, they trade places.
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Trash Can Basketball
Group Size: 2-20
Age Group: K-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization and strategic thinking
Skills Practiced: Throwing
Equipment Needed: Cones; an empty trash can or container; and a soft ball, beanbag, or wadded up
piece of paper.
Set-Up: Indoors. Set up one empty container, 2-3 cones to mark where students will stand in line, and
three other markers of varying distances from the container.
Before You Start:
 Separate students into teams of 6-8 and have them line up behind the cones.
How to Play:
 Ask a question related to something the students are learning in class (math problem, spelling
word, etc.). Only the students at the front of each line can answer. If someone from the back of
the line answers, that line is disqualified for that round.
 Whoever answers the question first wins the right to shoot the “ball” into the container.
 They have three choices:
1. Shoot from the closest spot (slam dunk) for 1 point.
2. Shoot from the medium spot for 2 points.
3. Shoot from the farthest spot for 3 points.
 After each round, the contestants return to end of the line.
Variations:
 If the shooter misses, the other students at the front of the line get a chance to shoot (greater
involvement for everyone).
 Give the shooters only one designated spot to shoot from (speeds up the game).
 Let all students shoot (good for K-1st).
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Trivia Tic-Tac-Toe
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 1st-5th grades
Length of Activity: 10-20 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking, memorization, and teamwork
Skills Practiced: Following directions and observation
Equipment Needed: Tape, chalk, cones, or jump ropes to make a tic-tac-toe board
Set-Up: Can be played inside or out. Make a tic-tac-toe board with tape, chalk, cones, or jump ropes.
Before You Start:
 Remind the students about the importance of working together, but only answering when it is
their turn.
 Show students how to represent “X” (Standing with both arms and legs extended wide) and “O”
(arms raised above your head in a full circle).
How to Play:
 Divide students into two teams, Team “X” and Team “O”.
 Take one volunteer from each team and ask a question related to something they are learning in
class (math problems, spelling words, etc.). Whichever student answers correctly first gets to
choose a square to stand in for their team.
 Choose a new volunteer for each team and repeat until one team has three in a row.
Variations:
 Also can play this game with bean bags. If they get a question right, they win the chance to throw
a bean bag into a square. (Adds an element of physical with mental skills).
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Up, Down, Stop, Go
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: Pre-K – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students’ concentration and listening skills.
Skills Practiced: Body and spatial awareness, running in place and following directions
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: Cafeteria, gym, or classroom.
Before You Start:
 Have students stand up either by their seats or spread around the room/play area.
 Demonstrate the appropriate actions for “up”, “down”, “stop”, or “go”
 On “Up”, students should squat down.
 On “Down”, students should jump, or stretch up as high as they can.
 On “Stop”, students should move around the play area in a specific movement (walking,
jogging, running, skipping, hopping, etc.) or, if students cannot move around the play
area, they should run in place.
 On “Go”, students should freeze.
 Students not doing the correct movement can complete a task (jumping jacks, come give
the adult a high five, etc.) before returning to the game.
 Do a practice round first so that all students understand the commands and movements
that go with them, and understand what to do if they get the movements mixed up.
How to Play:
 Call out the commands “up”, “down”, “stop”, or “go” one at a time.
 For the first few minutes, watch the group and stop when students do the wrong movement and
prompt those students complete the designated task (jumping jacks, etc)
 After the first few minutes, call out the commands without stopping for those who make a
mistake. They can just quickly do the task and get back in the game.
Variation:
 Pre-K Variation: Use literal commands (up means up, down means down, etc). Start out just
doing up and down. Then do stop and go. Then mix up all four commands.
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What Are You Doing?
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 4th-8th grades
Length of Activity: 10-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop creative thinking and listening to directions.
Skills Practiced: Body awareness and following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Students get in line and the first two students face each other
How to Play:
 Student A does a motion like in charades, and then student B asks “What are you Doing?”
 Student A must name a motion that doesn’t match the motion that they are doing.
 Student B must do the motion that student A named.
 Student A then asks, “What are you doing?”
 Game continues until one of the students messes up. When a students messes up they go to the
end of the line and the next student steps up.
Variation:
 Have multiple lines going to increase participation
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What Changed?
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 1st- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop memorization, problem-solving and creative thinking.
Skills Practiced: Gross muscle control, body awareness and balance
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: None
Before You Start:
 Pick four people to be up front.
How to Play:
 They stand in front of the group in a frozen posture and the rest of the group memorizes how they
are positioned.
 Then, the group turns around and the four up front choose one thing each to change about their
stance or appearance.
 When ready, the group turns back around.
 If they notice something different about any of the four, they raise their hand to guess what is
different about someone up front.
 If that person guesses right, they trade places with the person up front.
 After the group has guessed all four people up front’s changes, a new round begins.
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Wink-Ums
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: 3rd -8th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop strategic thinking and non-verbal communication.
Skills Practiced: Agility, body and spatial awareness and evasion.
Equipment Needed: Chairs (enough for 1/2 number of players plus one extra)
Set-Up: Make a circle with the chairs
Before You Start:
 Demonstrate safe tagging:
 Light touch, like butterfly wings on the shoulder
 Unsafe Tags: hard contact that might cause the person being tagged to fall
 Demonstrate how to stand behind the chair with your head down and hands behind your back
 Demonstrate how to sit in the chair
How to Play:
 Divide the group in half. Have one group sit in the chairs and the other group stand behind the
chairs.
 There should be one chair with no one sitting in it but has a student standing behind it, they are
the “winker”.
 The students standing behind the chairs should have their head down and hands behind their back.
 The students sitting should look at the winker and sit all the way back in their chair.
 If the winker winks at a sitting student they need to try and sneak away from their chair and make
it to the empty chair without being tagged by the student behind them.
 If tagged, students switch positions (sitting student stands behind their original chair and standing
student takes a seat) and the same winker tries again. If not tagged, the student standing behind
the new empty chair becomes the winker.
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Wonderball
Group Size: 10-30
Age Group: Pre-K – 5th grades
Length of Activity: 10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop students’ concentration, cooperation and eye-hand coordination skills.
Skills Practiced: Passing, doing jumping jacks, and awareness
Equipment Needed: 1 playground ball
Set-Up: Decide on a space that is big enough for the entire class to form a circle.
Before You Start:
 Have the group sit or stand in a circle
 Practice 5 jumping jacks (for younger ages)
 Practice passing the ball around the circle (for younger ages)
 Practice singing one round of the song
How to Play:
 Start passing the ball around the circle while singing the wonderball song:
 The Song -The wonderball goes around and around,
to pass it quickly you are bound,
if you’re the one to hold it last,
you will owe 5 jumping jacks,
you are it!
 The child who is holding the ball when the song ends gets up and does 5 jumping jacks in the
middle of the circle.
 Then pick the child who is sitting the quietest to start the next round.
 You should move around the circle with the ball to make sure it gets around, a lot of kids will try
to hold the ball so they will be last or won’t be able to hold the ball
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You Can, Two Can Workout
Group Size: 5-30
Age Group: 2nd- 5th grades
Length of Activity: 5-15 minutes
Developmental Goal: To develop listening skills.
Skills Practiced: Gross muscle control, balance, body awareness and following directions
Equipment Needed: Donated canned goods
Set-Up: Make sure you allow plenty of time for students to bring in canned goods, about 2 per student.
Talk with your school staff when planning this activity, and have lots of extra on hand for those who
forget or cannot afford to bring their own.
Before You Start:
 Have students spread out with enough space to do some basic exercises.
How to Play:
 Have students hold one can in each hand while performing exercises such as: arm circles, arm
curls, shadow boxing, bench press, butterflies, trunk twists, lat pulls, lunges, squats, etc.
 At the end of the period, collect all food items for donation.
 You can use this activity as an opportunity to talk to the students about helping those in need; ask
them how it made them feel to donate the items.
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Zip, Zap, Pop
Group Size: 10-20
Age Group: 3rd-8th grades
Length of Activity: 5-10 minutes
Developmental Goal: To practice listening to directions, concentration, and social comfort within group.
Skills Practiced: Paying attention, following directions
Equipment Needed: None
Set-Up: Designate playing space large enough for the group to form a circle (cafeteria, gym, classroom)
Before You Start:
 Have the group stand in a circle. Explain the three different actions, ‘Zip’, ‘Zap’, and ‘Pop’:
 First pass a ‘Zip’ around the circle, accompanied by placing a hand on top of the head
with the fingers pointing at the person on either side. Pass word and movement around
circle in the same direction.
 Pass ‘Zap’ around, accompanied by putting the hand under the chin the opposite direction
from which ‘Zip’ was just passed around.
 A ‘Pop’ is done by pointing to anyone in the circle, who then passes a Zip to someone
else around circle. Make sure that a there is eye contact with the person receiving the
‘Pop’.
 The actions must always come in the same order, Zip, Zap, then Pop.
 Once everyone is familiar with the words and movements begin the game.
How to Play:
 The leader starts with a ‘Zip’ and passes it to the person either to their left or right.
 It is up to the person who receives it which direction to pass it, and they do a ‘Zap’.
 The next person must ‘Pop’ it, sending it to someone across the circle.
 ‘Zip’ and ‘Zap’ can be sent in either direction.
 If person hesitates they are out and can go around the outside of the circle heckling the group,
saying the words Zip, Zap, Pop in people’s ears, trying to distract them.
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Peace Promotion Curriculum
The Peace Promotion curriculum was designed to supplement the Five
Fingers of Safety, our current violence prevention curriculum. The activities
in the Peace Promotion curriculum focus on proactive measures to
encourage and foster a healthy community, and can be used with a variety
of student groups. Please ask your city’s Playworks office if you have
questions, or would like more information on this curriculum.
Curriculum Overview
Lesson One: Intro: Building Bridges – Set expectations and group norms
Lesson Two: Respect’In the Community – Define and understand the
concept of respect
Lesson Three: Detective Leader – Emphasizing observation and
cooperation, can also use to discuss empathy
Lesson Four – Conflict and Me – Identify and discuss conflict that students
have experienced, understand the conflict is natural, how can we make it
have a positive result?
Lesson Five – ABCs of Anger – What triggers our anger and how can we
manage it?
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Lesson Title:
Lesson Presenter:
Time Required:
Introduction to Building Bridges – Lesson One
60 minutes
Pre-Planning
Lesson Overview: This unit is violence prevention through positive group means. This first lesson will set a
tone for a positive environment by allowing all students to have a voice. They will introduce themselves, help
establish rules and identify things that group members have in common.
Learning Objectives: What will the students learn today?
By the end of the lesson, the students will:
1. Learn/practice introducing themselves.
2. Establish class rules
3. Identify issues that affect their lives
Agenda based on the lesson plan. Post in the room for the students to see.
10 Minutes
1. Review Agenda, Personal intro & Movement Name Game
25 Minutes
2. Establish Norms (& a signal)
3. I love My Neighbor…
20 Minutes
4. Debrief & Close
5 Minutes
Preparation and Set up: Pick a space with a wall. Place newsprint on the wall with marker close.
Materials Needed:
 Adhesive newsprint
 marker
 ball of crumbled paper
 Agenda
Vocabulary: Post Agenda and Objectives with the words “Building Bridges” and “Norm” highlighted.
Planning the Lesson
Set the Context and Review Agenda
Time: 10 Minutes
Provide students with a visual agenda and the objectives of today’s lesson. Highlight keywords.
Movement Name Game
 Students are instructed to introduce themselves.
 Leader explains that each student will say her/his name while acting out a physical gesture that they feel
represents them.
 Everyone in the group then repeats the student’s name and her/his movement.
 Continue around the circle until everyone has introduced themselves.
Activity 1: Establishing Norms
 Ask brainstorm question: What kind of environment do we need to establish in
order to run a successful program?
 Write responses or “norms” on a piece of poster board.
 When all students agree to the norms, explain that to ensure that we commit to
the norms, the newsprint will become a “contract” to be signed by each student.
 Instruct students that in order to sign the contract, they will have 2 minutes to
silently line up in order of height then you say “go”. The shortest person in the
class should be at the front of the line.
 Each student signs the contract (use a separate sheet if there’s not sufficient
space).
 Trainer introduces a “Signal” which indicates that its time to quickly return to a
standing circle. (if students are sluggish, trainer can create a time limit to see if
students can make a good circle in the given time)
Time: 25 Minutes
Objectives
 To create a common set of
norms for the group to
work within.
 To help all students feel
included.
 To establish a signal for
the whole group to be
addressed
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
Once in the circle students are given the following signals (or any others to
routinely use during classes:
a) “Rhythm Claps”: become silent & repeat rhythm to regain focus
b) “Freeze”: Students stop activity, listen and pay attention
Activity 2: I Love My Neighbor
Time: 20 Minutes
I. Team Building Exercise
Objectives
 Have students sit in chairs in a circle.
 To learn things about one
another
 There should be the exact amount of chairs for the amount of participants in
the room, excluding you. (No chair should be available for you.)
 To observe things people
have in common
 Stand in the center of the circle.
 To identify issues that
 Explain that in this game there will be no pushing or shoving.
affect people’s lives
 Tell the class that the person in the center of the circle must say one true
thing about him/herself that is visible (true about your physical person) in
the following format: “I love my neighbor, especially my neighbor who is
wearing blue.”
 Instruct the seated participants that if the statement is also true for them,
they must get up from their seats and find another seat across the circle.
Students may not switch to a seat directly to the left or right of them.
 The person left without a seat should stand in the center and say one true
thing about him/herself that is visible using the same format.
 After several rounds of the game, raise the stakes by instructing a student in
the center to say one true thing about themselves that cannot be seen. Ex: “I
love my neighbor, especially my neighbor who was born in Oakland.”
To extend the activity:
 Ask the students to give an opinion of what they feel about something. Ex: “I
love my neighbor, especially my neighbor who thinks the A’s are the best
baseball team.”
 If you feel the group is ready, you can increase the risk-taking even further
by having students in the center tell the group something that is true about
themselves that the group may not know, or share an opinion or feeling.
Ex: “I love my neighbor, especially my neighbor who has ever felt scared.”
II. Debrief Questions
 What did you discover about someone?
 What did you find you had in common with someone else?
 How did the activity make you think differently about the people in the
class?
Reflection and Closing
Time: 5 Minutes
While seated in a circle, ask each student to repeat their name and express one positive thing that they’ll take
away from today’s class. Briefly review the purpose of the training and thanks students for their participation.
Next time: We will talk about RESPECT.
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Lesson Title:
Lesson Presenter:
Time Required:
Respect’In the Community – Lesson Two
50 minutes
Pre-Planning
Lesson Overview: This unit is violence prevention through positive group means. This second lesson addresses
the topic of respect so that each individual knows how s/he can act respectfully and be a part of a respectful
community.
Learning Objectives: What will the students learn today?
By the end of the lesson, the students will:
4. Define respect.
5. Establish a set of criteria for respectful behavior.
Agenda based on the lesson plan. Post in the room for the students to see.
1. Review Agenda
5 Minutes
2. Warm-Up: Sound & Movement or Whose Shoes
10 Minutes
3. Second Warm-Up: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
10 Minutes
4. How can I be a respectful person?
20 Minutes
5. Debrief & Close
5 Minutes
Preparation and Set up: Be prepared to have a space to allow for some movement as well as a place to sit a
circle and a wall for note taking.
Materials Needed:
 Poster and marker
Vocabulary: Post Agenda and Objectives with the word “Respect” highlighted.
Planning the Lesson
Set the Context and Review Agenda
Time: 5 Minutes
Provide students with a visual agenda and the objectives of today’s lesson. Highlight keywords.
Activity 1: Sound and Movement (K-3) Whose Shoes (4-6)
Time: 10 Minutes
Warm-Up: Sound and Movement (K-3rd)
Objectives
 Have students sit in a circle on the floor or in chairs.
 (K-3) To warm up
students bodies, voices
 Ask students to stand. Lead them in a short movement warm-up shake out your
and minds.
arms, legs etc…)
 (4-6) To develop a
 Lead students in a short vocal warm-up asking them to repeat the following
sense of understand for
tongue twisters after you: “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers”; “Sally
others’ feelings.
sells seashells by the seashore.”
 (4-6) To observe and
 Create a sound/movement gesture and have students pass it around the circle
identify others actions
to the left mimicking exactly what you have done.
and feeling.
 Pass a second sound/movement gesture to the right.
Warm-Up: Whose Shoes (4th-6th)
 Tell students they’ll be doing an activity where they are to walk around the
room as if they were somebody else. Explain that this is something we call
“role-playing.”
 Ask students to stand. Explain that you will be calling out descriptions of types
of people or characters. EX: an angry man; a singer; a toddler/baby; a presidential
candidate; parent etc…
 Explain that they are to walk around the room as if they were that person.
Create different scenarios for the characters as needed. EX: It starts to rain and
angry man gets splashed by a passing bus.
 Remind students to use only their bodies, not their voices.
 After a few rounds, ask for volunteers to choose their own character and walk
across the floor. Have the rest of the group guess who they might be.
Processing Questions:
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


How did you feel pretending to be somebody else?
Why might it be helpful to put yourselves in someone else’s shoes?
Are there situations here in school or in your neighborhood when putting
yourself in someone else’s shoes can be helpful?
Activity 2: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
 Tell the students that you would like them to guess an important word we use a
lot when talking about working together in a group or community (“respect”). You
may want to prompt them with something like: “It’s something we work hard to
show one another.”
 If you don’t get “respect” as a response, you may want to give students
additional hints and turn the brainstorm into a guessing game. EX: This word
begins with the letter “R,” or a quick game of hangman.
 Continue the warm-up by leading students through the following cooperative
movement game.
 Instruct them to use their bodies to make the formations of the seven letters
that spell RESPECT.
 NOTE: Each student should make each letter with his/her own body.
Time: 10 Minutes
Objectives
 To learn the word
respect
 To learn and practice
spelling the word
respect
 To warm up students’
bodies
Activity 3: How can I be a respectful person?
Time: 20 Minutes


Objectives
For this activity, students will be seated in a semi-circle.
 To establish a common
Write the question, “What is respect?” as a heading on the board or on
definition of to word
newsprint.
respect
 Lead the students in a group brainstorm asking them to think of different
 To be able to identify
words, names or actions that help them define “respect.” You may want to
actions that are
prompt them by saying “To be a respectful person is to be _________.”
respectful
Record their suggestions on newsprint or board.

To practice respectful
 Choose a student volunteer to be your partner. Together volunteer a series of
behavior
quick role-plays exemplifying either respectful or disrespectful behavior.
 Suggestions:
O Two people are walking down the street. One person accidentally bumps
into the other person without saying “I’m sorry” or “excuse me”
O Two students are seated at a desk next to each other. One student drops his
notebook and the other student reaches out of her seat to pick it up and
hand it to him
 When finished with each role-play, ask students to call out whether this
behavior showed respect or disrespect (To keep k-3 students engaged you may
want to ask them to show thumbs up or thumbs down).
 When finished with a few role-plays, return to the brainstorming activity.
 On another sheet or newsprint, write the heading “Respectful Behavior.”
Continue to lead the discussion, asking students to describe additional
instances of respectful behavior or actions.
 Discussion Questions:
O How do you feel when someone is respectful to you?
O How do you think other people feel when you show respect to them?
O How do people show respect for each other in school? In your
neighborhood? At home?
O How do people disrespect each other in those places?
Reflection and Closing
Time: 5 Minutes
While seated in a circle, ask each student to say one way that they could show more respect for the people in their
lives.
Next time: We will talk about awareness and cooperation.
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Lesson Title:
Lesson Presenter:
Time Required:
Detective Leader – Lesson Three
45 minutes
Pre-Planning
Lesson Overview: This unit is violence prevention through positive group means. This third lesson builds
community by using cooperation. The activities will allow students to practice cooperation and well as awareness.
Learning Objectives: What will the students learn today?
By the end of the lesson, the students will:
6. Identify cooperative skills
7. Practice cooperation skills.
8. Practice awareness.
Agenda based on the lesson plan. Post in the room for the students to see.
1. Review Agenda
5 Minutes
2. Warm-Up: Where Do I Belong?
10 Minutes
3. Second Warm-Up: Mirror
10 Minutes
4. Detective Leader
15 Minutes
5. Debrief & Close
5 Minutes
Preparation and Set up: This space should have room for all students to sit in a circle.
Materials Needed: None needed.
Vocabulary: Post Agenda and Objectives with the word “cooperation” and “awareness” highlighted.
Planning the Lesson
Set the Context and Review Agenda
Time: 5 Minutes
Provide students with a visual agenda and the objectives of today’s lesson. Highlight keywords.
Activity 1: Line of Silence
 Tell students that today they will be working on cooperating with each other.
 Tell students to line up in alphabetical order. For grades K-3 have students line up in
order of the first letter of their first name from A-Z. For grades 4 and up have
students line up in order from Z-A and do not allow them to speak.
 Have them line up as quickly as possible or you can give them a time limit if the group
is up for the task.
 Other lines they could make: Height; Date of Birth; Length of Hair
 Option: break the class into two groups that compete to line-up the fastest.
Activity 2: Mirror. Mirror
 Ask the students: What is it like when you look in a mirror? What do you see?
 Have students count off in twos.
 Ask the “ones” and “twos” to make two separate lines facing each other. Each “one”
should have a partner facing him/her in the “two” line.
 OR fold the line from end to end so that each person is partnered up with another.
Give one of the new lines the number one and the other the number two.
 Tell the partners that “one” is looking in the mirror and “two” is the reflection.
Everything that “one” does should be mirrored exactly by “two.” Tell “one” to begin by
making facial expressions and movements they normally would in front of the mirror.
 After a minute or two have partners switch roles. Now “one” mirrors “two.”
 Option: Play a third round with a few skilled pairs where partners secretly choose
who will be the reflection. After a few moments, ask the class to guess who the leader
is and who the mirror is.

Time: 10 Minutes
Objectives
 To practice nonverbal
communication.
 To use
cooperation.
Time: 10 Minutes
Objectives
 To practice
cooperation.
 To practice
awareness by
observing and
copying another.
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Activity 3: Rhythm Detective
Time: 15 Minutes
 NOTE: This is a simpler way to play Rhythm Detectives for students who have a hard Objectives
 To practice
time with rhythms.
cooperation.
 With students in a circle, begin to make simple repetitive hand or arm movements
and tell the class to follow your lead. Change movements every ten seconds. EX:
 To leader what it
clapping hands, changing after ten seconds to waving arms, changing after ten
means to be a
seconds to waving one arm etc…
leader
 After a few moments freeze the group and pick a student to be a detective. Have the
 To practice
detective leave the room for a moment.
awareness.
 Silently point to a new student to become the leader. Have the group begin following
the leader, changing movements after every 10 seconds, before bringing the detective
back into the room.
 Bring the detective into the center of the circle and allow him/her three chances to
guess the leader.
 After the first round ask students what they could do as a group and individually to
make it more difficult to detect the leader.
 Continue to play several more rounds with new leaders and detectives, occasionally
giving the group opportunities to discuss strategy.
 Processing Questions:
o What happened in the activity?
o How did it feel to be detective? Leader? A group member?
o How did we work together? What did you do to cooperate?
o Why is it important to cooperate?
o When do you use cooperation skills in real-life?
Reflection and Closing
Time: 5 Minutes
In a circle, each students responds to the following question: How will you cooperate with your classmates in a
new way?
Next time: We will talk about conflict.
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Lesson Title:
Lesson Presenter:
Time Required:
Conflict & Me – Lesson Four
60 minutes
Pre-Planning
Lesson Overview: This unit is violence prevention through positive group means. This fourth lesson addresses
conflict. The activities will allow students to identify what conflict is to them and feel empowered to make conflict
healthy.
Learning Objectives: What will the students learn today?
By the end of the lesson, the students will:
9. Define conflict
10. Learn to express conflict
11. Discuss healthy conflict
Agenda based on the lesson plan. Post in the room for the students to see.
1. Review Agenda
5 Minutes
2. Warm-Up: Conflict Statues
10 Minutes
3. Conflict & Me
40 Minutes
4. Debrief & Close
5 Minutes
Preparation and Set up: This space should be prepared for all students to sit in a circle. Additionally, students
will need to work at tables.
Materials Needed:
 Poster, Marker, Paper for all students, Crayons
Vocabulary: Post Agenda and Objectives with the word “conflict” and “healthy conflict” highlighted.
Planning the Lesson
Set the Context and Review Agenda
Time: 5 Minutes
Provide students with a visual agenda and the objectives of today’s lesson. Highlight keywords.
Activity 1: Conflict Statues










Have students form a circle.
Lead students through a stretching exercise, ending in a “shake it out” by shaking the whole
body.
Call out “freeze.” Tell students that by freezing in one position, they are making statues, and
the statues are made out of stone or metal and don’t move or talk.
Tell students to shake off their statue, and then call out “Freeze in a happy position.” Have
students hold the statue.
Have the students shake out again and lead three more rounds using terms such as: sadness,
joy and excitement.
After the third round, have students unfreeze one at a time allowing students to observe other
statues.
Next have students find a partner. Tell the class that they are now going to get the chance to
make statues with their partners.
Explain to them that to make statues with their partner, one partner should freeze in a statue
first then the other partner should freeze in a statue that responds to their partner.
Explain to students that they should not touch each other during these group statues, but
should create a statue around each other.
Call out three different words for the partner statues, using the words that relate to conflict.
Ex: anger, fear, friendship, hate.
Time: 10
Minutes
Objectives
 To warm
up
students’
bodies
 To observe
feels felts
in
conflicts
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Activity 2: Conflict & Me
Part One: Demonstrate Role-Play
 Have students sit in a circle.
 Tell students that the group will be talking about the word “conflict.”
 Ask a student to volunteer to demonstrate a role-play with you. (Possible situation: students
are in a cafeteria. One student bumps into another student and spills a drink on him/her.
They argue. End role-play when it becomes heated).
 Discussion Questions:
o Who are the two characters? Where are they?
o What is the problem?
Part Two: Webbing
 Write the word “conflict” on a piece of paper with a circle around it.
 The word “conflict” is the center of the web. Ask students what words or
phrases come to mind when they hear the word conflict, or what words or
phrases come to mind based on the role-play they have just seen
 Write their words on the paper, connecting them with lines to the circled word “conflict.” The
students may come up with words like “fighting,” “hitting,” “anger” and “punching.” If the
words have connections to fighting, join them to the word “fighting.”
Part Three: Group Share
 While in a circle, have each student complete the sentence, “A time when I
experienced a conflict was …”
 The account can be a personal incident (“Harry hit me”), or an incident that the student
observed (“I saw a bully taking lunch money.”)
 Model your own example for the class.
Part Four: Conflict Drawings
 Hand out paper and markers to each student.
 Have students draw a picture about the conflict they mentioned during the group share.
 Ask a few students to share their drawings with the group.
 Ask each student who is sharing their drawing the following questions:
o Who is involved in the conflict?
o Where are they?
o What is the problem?
o What happened? What was the outcome?
o What did it feel like? ((BREAK))
 Processing Questions:
o What happened? How did you feel creating your drawing?
o What are some things these drawings have in common?
o What other conflict drawings can you relate to?
o What do the drawings tell us about conflict? In general … conflict is ______.
Part Five: Healthy Conflict Discussion
 Ask the students what a healthy conflict is (something good that can come out of conflict).
 Give an example: You had a disagreement with a friend over forgetting to bring her book. You
were both angry but managed to talk it out. Now you are much closer friends.
 Ask the class, “What good things have ever come out of a conflict?”
Reflection and Closing
Time: 40
Minutes
Objectives
 To define
conflict
 To
understan
d the
elements
of
conflicts
 To identify
healthy
conflict
Time: 5
Minutes
What is your favorite polite word or phrase?
Next time: We will talk about anger.
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Lesson Title:
Lesson Presenter:
Time Required:
The ABCs of Anger – Lesson Five
50 minutes
Pre-Planning
Lesson Overview: This unit is violence prevention through positive group means. This fifth lesson will
approach the topic of anger. Students will identify anger triggers and discuss anger management.
Learning Objectives: What will the students learn today?
By the end of the lesson, the students will:
12. Identify the causes of anger
13. Identify the effects of anger
14. Learn and practice anger management
Agenda based on the lesson plan. Post in the room for the students to see.
1. Review Agenda, Personal intro
10 Minutes
2. Warm Up: Walk It Off
15 Minutes
3. The ABC Method
20 Minutes
4. Debrief & Close
5 Minutes
Preparation and Set up: Pick a space with a wall. Place newsprint on the wall with marker close.
Materials Needed:
 Anger Handout, Poster, Marker
Vocabulary: Post Agenda and Objectives with the words “anger” and “anger management” highlighted.
Planning the Lesson
Set the Context and Review Agenda
Time: 10 Minutes
Provide students with a visual agenda and the objectives of today’s lesson. Highlight keywords.
Activity 1: Walk It Off











Have students look at the blank piece of paper on the board
Tell students that underneath the paper is a word that represents something that has the
power to get us all trouble.
Allow the students to guess the word and after a bit expose the word “anger.”
Ask “Do you agree that anger can sometimes get us into trouble?” “What are some of the
ways that anger gets us into trouble?” “What do people do when they get angry?”
Ask students to stand in a circle.
When you call out a situation, ask one student to walk across the circle as if they were
experiencing the feeling of the situation.
Tell students that there is no sound and no touching others allowed during this exercise.
Call out anger-causing situations and have a student respond to each one:
o Your pen is missing, you think someone stole it.
o You lost your homework on the way to school and the teacher doesn’t believe you.
o You got in a fight with your friend and you got sent to the principal’s office but your
friend didn’t get into trouble.
o A student you don’t get along with stepped on your foot during P.E.
Have students shake out their bad feelings.
Processing Questions:
o What happened?
o How did it feel?
o How does anger feel?
o
Discussion Questions:
o What are the signs of anger? How did your body and gestures demonstrate anger?
o How might you have responded if these situations really happened to you?
Time: 15
Minutes
Objectives
 To identify the
meaning of
anger
 To see and act
out the
expression of
anger
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Activity 2: The ABC Method
Part One: The ABC’s of Anger Worksheet
 Explain to students that anger is not bad. It is a feeling that’s normal and happens to
everyone. Explain that anger is not what causes us trouble but how we
respond in an anger-causing situation that can get us into trouble or even
put us in danger.
 Tell students that after today they should be able to identify angry feelings, use a calming
technique to lessen their anger, and think about the consequences of their actions before
they respond.
 Give the students the ABC’s of Anger Handout (attached) and review it with students.
 Create a chart on the board like the one in the worksheet.
 Ask students to come up with an anger-causing situation (an Anger Trigger)
 Write the situation in the “A” box
 Have the students brainstorm at least three possible behavior responses to the anger and
write them in the “B” column.
 Ask the class to brainstorm one or two possible consequences to each action and write
them in the “C” column.
 Then ask the class to answer the questions: “Will this action hurt me?” “Will It hurt
others?” and “Will it solve the problem?”
 Ask students to choose the best responses to the situation from column B.
Part Two: Role-Play Demonstrations
 Ask a volunteer to role-play two scenes with you. If the class is already comfortable with
role-play, two students can enact the scenes. In the first scene students will demonstrate
“out of control anger,” and in the second scene they’ll demonstrate “anger management.”
 Ask the class for a new “anger trigger” that involves two people.
 You (or a student) will play the angry person; another student will play the other
character.
 In the first role-play, act out the scene letting your anger get the best of you and jumping
at a response to the situation. Freeze the scene.
 Re-play the scene:
o Visibly pause when you get angry and take several deep breaths.
o Freeze the scene.
o Ask the class to be your brain and quickly tell you what to do.
o After each suggestion ask “Will it hurt me or others? Will it solve the problem?”
o Have the class choose one response, and continue by acting out the response.
 Time permitting, do a few more role-plays with new volunteers and new anger triggers.
Processing Questions:
 What happened in the two role-plays?
 How did it feel to watch each of them?
 How did the actions and body language change between the two scenes?
 What did you learn about anger from the role-plays?
 How can you apply what you learned today in real life?
Time: 20
Minutes
Objectives
 To understand
anger triggers,
responses and
consequences
 To see and
practice anger
management
Time: 5
Minutes
One thing that makes me angry is __________. Ex: … when my sister plays with my things without asking my
permission. One positive way that I can respond is _______________.
Reflection and Closing
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Violence Prevention
Violence in the United States is a severe problem, affecting every facet of society. It is not
surprising that as the level of violence in society in general has increased in the past twenty
years, violence in and around school has intensified. In 2003, students in urban schools were
twice as likely as students in rural and suburban schools to fear being attacked at school or on
the way to and from school. Statistics from 2005 reported that younger students were more
likely than older students to report being bullied. In the 1999-2000 school years, 9 percent of all
elementary and secondary school teachers were threatened with injury by a student, and 4
percent were physically attacked by a student. Studies have shown that as violence, and the fear
associated with violence, become a regular part of children’s school day, children have more
difficulty learning and developing, experience general emotional distress and have problems
developing healthy social relationships.
Playworks’ serve selementary schools that have historically lacked enrichment resources such as
sports programming and physical education classes. Current statistics indicate that schools
where the student body is low income and schools where there has been a history of low
academic achievement are the schools that have the greatest exposure to regular, daily violence.
Playworks is well positioned to offer violence prevention strategies to the schools we serve
because our work is primarily on the playground where children are less supervised and where
most of the school day violence occurs. Play can be an outlet for physical energy, a source of
self-confidence, an arena to develop discipline and active communication skills and an
opportunity for social networking. Play in and of itself does not always offer all these outcomes.
However, if consciously implemented with positive youth development at the core, play can have
tremendous benefits for children and for the school as a whole. Playworks has a unique
opportunity to teach violence prevention and basic safety during class game time, during
classroom presentations and as part of our After School Program.
The Violence Prevention materials directly address the presence of violence in children’s school
life, acknowledges it as an obstacle to a safe and positive learning environment and presents a
foundation of safety skills that are practical and enduring. These materials will offer a
perspective on the violence in our culture and the specific ways violence manifests in the daily
life of an elementary school. The materials will define terms to build a common understanding
of the vocabulary of safety and prevention. This section will present a series of lesson plans for
grades K-5 that can be taught in your After School Program or used as Junior Coach Trainings in
the latter half of the school year. The materials additionally offer games, exercises and activities
to help students absorb the prevention concepts.
Goals:
To teach children skills that will enhance their sense of strength, confidence and safety during
the school day and that will inspire in them a commitment to cooperation and peace.
Objectives:
1. To develop children’s awareness of how violence affects them individually and how violence
affects the school as a whole.
2. To develop children’s capacity to discuss violence and peace.
3. To teach basic personal safety skills appropriate for grades K-5.
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Defining the Terms
How does Playworks define violence?
“Violence is anything that denies human integrity and leads to hopelessness and helplessness.”
Martin Luther King Junior
Playworks recognizes that violence can be seen in a variety of ways and is perpetuated through
oppressive structures such as racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, anti-semitism, etc. A
significant portion of this curriculum relies on the Site Coordinator to help children see the
stereotypes, assumptions and prejudice that fuel the violence we experience.
What is physical violence?
Violent behavior directed at a person’s body. Hitting, kicking, pulling, biting, pushing, and
using an object to hit someone
What is sexual violence?
Unwanted or inappropriate touching, unwanted sexual innuendo or verbal harassment, forced
intercourse, and the exploitative use of sex
What is emotional and psychological violence?
Threats of harm, degradation, terrorizing through use of fear (bullying), verbal abuse (i.e. put
downs), controlling behavior, and harming person’s property
What is harassment?
Any type of unwelcome, threatening, or intimidating conduct directed towards a person because
of his or her gender
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Vocabulary Words for Students
Anger- An emotion we feel when we are mad, when we feel like something unfair has
happened. How our bodies feel when we are mad.
Assertive- A way of showing how we feel and saying what we want in a powerful way.
Awareness- Knowing what’s going on around you—is it getting dark? Do you trust the person
you’re with? Do you feel safe and comfortable?
Body language- How our body talks to people without saying anything—how we are standing,
our eye contact, how tense or relaxed we are, etc.
Boundaries- An imaginary circle that defines our personal “zone.” A brick wall we build with
our voice that tells people they cannot come any closer.
Bully-A person who uses their power in a negative way. A person who tries to make other
people feel bad or tries to hurt them.
Conflict- When people get in an argument or a heated disagreement.
Intuition- When our body tells us something is about to happen. The warning signs our bodies
give- the weebly jeebly stomach, sweaty palms, flushed face, etc.
Peer pressure- When friends your own age try to talk you into doing something they want you
to do that you don’t feel comfortable doing.
Power- Strength. Someone can have power by being stronger than someone, being able to
think faster than someone, or being older than someone. Power can be used in a good way or a
bad way.
Safety- Feeling comfortable. Not afraid of getting hurt.
Self-defense- Being able to take care of and stand up for ourselves (emotionally, physically,
spiritually). To notice if something is unsafe and getting ourselves to safety.
Self-esteem- Feeling good about ourselves.
Violate- When someone does something to make you feel bad. When you tell someone no and
they do it anyway. When someone breaks your trust.
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The Five Fingers of Safety
The Five Fingers of Safety is a tool to empower children to participate in their own safety. Like
so many safety skills children absorb in their early years--buckling up in the car, not touching
the cleaning supplies under the sink, looking both ways before crossing the street--violence
prevention skills are not only teachable, but can help build confidence and resilience. The type
of violence we as adults fear for our children—kidnapping, physical or sexual assault,
harassment by adults, older youth or peers, bullying—are all potentially preventable. Through
sensitive and skillful introduction of The Five Fingers, children can transform fear of unknown
danger into power, excitement and curiosity about life inside and outside themselves.
Strategic discussion using concrete examples or scenarios, repetition of games, activities and
exercises that reinforce the principles of the five fingers and an upbeat, natural demeanor when
teaching this material are keys to success.
The first finger is Use Your Head. Use Your Head teaches children to understand and respect
their body’s sensory system. We particularly focus on vision, hearing and how brains translate
experience into action. Learning how to be aware of their environment using their eyes, ears
and brains gives children the necessary tools to greatly enhance their own safety.
Children are naturally self-absorbed. Helping children to both enjoy regular daily activities—
playing, riding the bus, walking to and from school—while also being cognizant of what they are
feeling and what’s happening in their surroundings is an important skill set. Children enjoy
games and activities that test their capacity to see and remember details. Observation skills are
fun and useful. External awareness or outward focus can be taught through observation of the
ecosystem—birds, trees, weather, colors, texture, stores, homes, people—that make up each
child’s world. Inward focus or awareness can be taught through observation of the body
language of others, and through discussion about how emotions feel and how they are triggered.
Again, this unfolding practice of being aware is both fun for children and useful in maintaining
safety. In this unit are games, exercises and activities to help teach awareness.
Using the information children receive through their senses to make decisions is a big part of
Use Your Head. Translating intuition or what children see or hear into action can be dissected
and practiced through storytelling and the discussion of particular scenarios. It is valuable to
walk children through a scene, encouraging them to come up with their own safe solutions to
problems. For example, describe a scene where children are playing in front of their house, they
hear a car screeching around the corner and they see it coming down their street really fast.
This is a scary but quite neutral example. Ask what parts of their body the children can use to
notice what’s happening on their block. Ask what could the children do to feel safe in the
situation. Children suggest options and the adult helps draw out ideas and sort through them to
assess their effectiveness. A key factor in this curriculum is for children to recognize that they
have the power to make themselves safe. This happens when the Site Coordinator is able to
facilitate a discussion wherein children and are teaching each other about safety.
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Use Your Mouth is the second finger. Use Your Mouth teaches children about speaking up
and speaking out. In presenting this finger, introduce the idea of the voice as a powerful
instrument or tool. Games and exercises that allow students the opportunity to make a variety
of sounds in a variety of ways teach children the versatility and strength of their voices. Use
Your Voice also addresses choosing the right words for the right moments and how tone of
voice, eye contact and body language play into how words are heard. When children are afraid,
angry or under pressure, they need access to powerful, clear words. However, as is true for all of
us, if children have not discussed and practiced communicating under challenging
circumstances, they often either freeze up or say things that escalate the problem. When
teaching Use Your Voice, teach phrases that assert a clear sense of self, of personal boundaries
and individual likes and dislikes. “No. Don’t touch me. I don’t like that. I don’t want to play
with you right now. Leave me alone. You are too close.” These are phrases to introduce that
can initially open the door to what is possible for children to say to each other or to adults when
in conflict or afraid. Other phrases that can be included in the dialogue are strong positive
expressions for situations that warrant mutual respect or appreciation. “Congratulations. I like
that. You’re right. I did a great job. I feel really proud of myself. That’s so inspiring to me.”
Practicing phrases can help children explore the role of tone of voice, eye contact and body
language. It also teaches them how verbal communication feels and is received. Use Your Voice
ultimately gives children permission to speak their minds with purpose and conviction. It offers
practice time for standing up for what they believe or want. In the process, children gain
authority and self-respect, which not only offers them a good measure of security but also
decreases children’s likelihood to bully or behave violently towards others.
Use Your Feet is the third finger. Use Your Feet teaches children about choices, about walking
away from situations that do not feel healthy, about being part of the solution. Use Your Feet is
taught through games that develop agility, reflexes and perception as well as activities that help
children examine why they might need to walk away from people or situations sometimes. It is
not easy to walk away from a potential fight when others are watching. It is not easy to run away
from an adult who is talking to you and is scaring you or making you enraged. Children do not
have to wait for an outcome in a scary, hostile or destructive moment, but can choose the
outcome by getting out. In teaching Use Your Feet, children are defined as capable and worthy.
Capable of initiating change and worthy of the life they choose in advocating for their own safe
future.
Use Your Physical Skills But Only If You Have To is the fourth finger. There are some
circumstances children face that require physical responses to get them to safety. This is clearly
a complex and controversial subject. It is important to help children learn that they can use
their physical skills to get away, but not to get into a fight. Teaching the physical skills of
blocking, striking and kicking is exhilarating and straightforward, much like teaching any basic
physical skill. Lesson plans are included to help guide the novice through teaching these
techniques successfully. Children enjoy the powerful feeling of kicking and hitting and the
challenge of blocking and evasion. It is more difficult however to define the landscape of why a
child might have to use these techniques in their lives. There are scenarios adults can use to
help identify what circumstances are appropriate for children to fight for their lives. They are
included at the end of this section. Though uncomfortable, we must not forget that the need for
these skills is documented in studies that indicate high levels of adult perpetrated violence and
sexual assault against children. There are many cases that celebrate victories of children who
survived violence by fighting back.
The fifth finger is Tell Somebody What Happened. This finger helps children take an
experience of violence or potential harm and sort it out with an adult they trust. It is common
for children to feel hesitant or unable to communicate with the adults in their lives about violent
or scary incidents that happen to them. Even bullying or harassment at or around school by
314
adults, older youth or peers is difficult for children to talk about with their parents. In addition,
it is sometimes family members or teachers who are the perpetrators of the violence and abuse,
which intensifies the child’s confusion. Tell Somebody What Happened reinforces the lessons
learned in the first and second fingers. This fifth finger connects for children awareness that
something is making them hurt, scared, angry or uncomfortable with speaking up about it to an
adult they trust. Defining who children feel they can trust to tell anything to is a powerful and
treacherous experience. Encourage children to think about which adults they could tell anything
to. Give examples of situations they might have to tell an adult about. Start with situations that
are warning signals such as being over at a friend’s house and getting a sick feeling in your
stomach when the friend’s older brother grabs your arm. Explain how important it is to
recognize the queasy feeling in the stomach and going ahead and talking about it with an adult.
Remind them that they are telling because the situation gave them a bad or funny feeling inside.
These situations are easier to present than more embarrassing ones like knowing that your stepbrother watches you when you take a bath and it makes you feel really confused. It is also
important to include in the examples situations where the child has broken a family rule. This
could be that s/he didn’t come straight home after school but went over to a friend’s house; then
was taken all the way across town in an older brother’s car and forced to drink alcohol. It is
important to alternate the scenarios with asking children what adult they would tell. Obviously
you would do appropriate scenarios for each age group and there are scenarios listed at the end
of Unit 4. Remember, for those children who literally cannot come up with an adult and
demand that they be allowed to pick a friend or older youth, it can be you that is the trusted
adult and you can suggest that. Tell Somebody What Happened is taught through stories,
sample scenarios and discussion, and can have a profound effect on children’s understanding of
how to use the support that is available in their lives to navigate complex and sometimes
horrifying experiences.
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The First Finger of Safety: Use Your Head
Goals for the First Finger:
1. Children can define safety.
2. Children can define awareness.
3. Children understand how being aware helps them to be safe.
Materials needed: Butcher paper and pen.
Grade level: K-5 (adapt verbal presentation as the age of the group increases.)
Discuss Safety:
Through questions get students to define safety in their own language.
 Can anyone tell me, what is safety?
 Is using a bike helmet practicing safety?
 Is crossing the street without looking being safe?
Get the students to understand that you and other adults care about their safety and so should
they!
Brainstorm ideas on how students are keeping themselves safe. Make sure each person gets the
chance to share. Record the ideas on the butcher paper.
Quickly Introduce the Five Fingers of Safety:
Ask students to hold up their fingers as you describe each finger of safety. Have students repeat
back to you what each finger of safety is.
The first finger is “Use Your Head.”
 What are the different parts of the head you can use to get information about what’s
going on around you?
 The eyes. How can your eyes help keep you safe?
 Your ears. How can your ears help keep you safe?
 The nose. How can this keep you safe?
 The brain. For thinking about what’s happening. How does your brain keep you
safe?
 (Note: They will also mention the mouth, tell them the mouth is so important
that it gets its own finger)
Develop an understanding of Awareness
Discussion: All of these body parts give you information about your surroundings and help you
notice what’s going on. Life is much more exciting and interesting when you are taking it in by
seeing, hearing and smelling it. When looking around, you might see a bird you’ve never seen
before or a new kind of bug. Life is also a lot safer when you have all this information, less
surprising and easier to respond to.
Play Where Are You? (Game description in the Playworks Playbook)
Briefly discuss awareness in relation to safety:
 Using all the body’s senses and taking in everything both inside ourselves and outside in
the surrounding environment. It means knowing what’s going on around you.
 How could being aware help you to be safe?
Play What Changed? (Game description in the Playworks Playbook)
Discuss why you played this game.
 How does this game keep you safe? Think of situation where it could be useful.
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Examples: When there’s too much smoke to see the door, or the fire extinguisher. If
you need to get out the window, how will you do it?
Scenario Discussions: Facilitate discussions about 2 or 3 scenarios. Choose from list below.
Repeat 3 times: “The first finger of safety is Use Your Head!”
Scenarios to Discuss with Grades K-5
You are in a group circle and someone is sitting too close to you.
 What can you do? Move over. If they continue to crowd you, raise your hand and ask to
move to another place in the circle.
You are playing at the park and you see a big dog roaming around the grassy area.
 What can you do? Stay away from the dog. Tell the adult who is with you about the dog
being loose. Don’t try to pet it even if it is a puppy if there is no dog owner around. If
you can, go into a fenced part of the playground and play until the dog leaves. If you
can’t find a protected play area, and you are allowed to walk home alone, leave
immediately and go home.
There is a car coming down your block really fast.
 What can you do? Stay on the sidewalk until it is out of sight. If possible, get up on the
front stoop or front porch. If the car keeps circling around and speeding by again and
again, play in the backyard or inside.
You smell smoke coming from the kitchen and when you go in there; you see it coming out of the
toaster.
 What can you do? Carefully pull the plug out of the wall or if that is hard to reach, push
the lever on the toaster up. Let an adult know what happened. If you can’t turn the
toaster off, call an adult, a neighbor or 911 for help.
You are walking down the street and you see a young adult walking towards you really fast. He
is punching over and over again into the air and looks really angry.
 What can you do? Cross the street. Step aside as you near each other. Point him out to
the person you are with.
You see a fight break out on the playground during recess.
 What can you do?
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Scenarios for Grades 3-5
You see an adult or older teenager coming down the block towards you and you can tell that they
are drunk or high.
 What can you do? You can move out of their way and not attract their attention or
engage them in conversation. Don’t laugh at them or point. If you are concerned about
their safety, find an adult and tell them what is happening.
You are at the Y with friends after school and they are all getting ready to leave. They want to go
off in a car to get some snacks with one of your friends’ older brothers and they want you to
come along.
 What can you do? Let them know that you can’t go today but that you will ask for
permission from your parent to go another time.
You are at a school dance and someone comes up and dances too close to you.
 What can you do? Move away from them. If they continue, stop dancing for a bit then
continue again in another area of the room. Tell them you are not comfortable.
You are at a store with a group of friends. They are pressuring you to steal a magazine.
 What can you do?
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The Second Finger of Safety: Use Your Mouth
Goals for the Second Finger:
1. Children can define boundary.
2. Children understand what body language is, how it is part of
communicating, and how it can help keep a person safe.
3. Children know and have practiced key phrases to tell a person
Review the First Finger of Safety
All right, are you all ready for the Second Finger of Safety?
HOLD UP 2 FINGERS.
The Second Finger of Safety is Use Your Mouth. What is it?
HAVE THEM REPEAT IT BACK TO YOU.
Remember how I said the mouth was so important it needed its own finger? Why do you think
this is? What are all the ways we use our mouth to help us feel safe?
LET THEM BRAINSTORM OUT LOUD. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE THREE MAIN THINGS
YOU WANT TO REPEAT BACK TO THE STUDENTS AFTER THEY HAVE GIVEN
SUGGESTIONS
1. You use your mouth to tell people how you are feeling. If someone makes you really angry do
you want to keep that stuck inside? Why is it important to tell someone if they do or say
something that makes you angry or hurts your feelings? So they know what they are doing is
bothering you. They may not know otherwise and not know you want them to stop. This is the
same for all those other feelings. We want to let others know what is going on for us, how we are
feeling, rather than keeping them bottled up.
2. Sometimes people don’t seem to hear us unless we really speak up and so we use our mouth to
strongly set a boundary. Does anyone know what a boundary is? How about when you are
playing soccer and someone goes out of bounds, what does that mean? Right, they have crossed
a boundary and that’s against the rules. It’s the same with people. If someone gets too close to
you and you feel uncomfortable, they have crossed your boundary and broken the rules. If
someone doesn’t listen to you when you first tell them you don’t like how they are treating you,
you can make a brick wall with your voice. Can anyone get through a brick wall? Is a brick wall
strong? That’s what we want you to make with your voice, a strong brick wall, or like we just
learned, a boundary.
3. You can also yell to surprise a person and to get help if someone is really trying to hurt you.
SEE GAME LIST- WORD CIRCLE
Everyone stand up! We’re going to see how we can change words just by how we say them.
Everyone close your eyes and think of one fun word you like. When you have it, open your eyes
and raise your hand. I am going to start with my word, “locomotive.”
SHOW THEM HOW YOU CAN SAY IT IN ALL DIFFERENT WAYS BY CHANGING YOUR
TONE, VOLUME, INFLECTION AND BODY LANGUAGE.
Who wants to start? Shantel will say her word any way she wants and pass it to the person next
to her. Each of us is going to try and copy it exactly the way she does it.
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GIVE EVERYONE A CHANCE TO LEAD.
Can people get different messages depending on how we say something? Why? Can someone
tell me what body language is?
TAKE SOME TIME TO DRAW OUT THE DEFNITION OF BODY LANGUAGE. GIVE SEVERAL
DIFFERENT EXAMPLES—BOTH STRONG, AWARE EXAMPLES AND INTIMIDATED,
NERVOUS EXAMPLES. LET THEM TELL YOU WHY DIFFERENT EXAMPLES WOULD
WORK BETTER THAN OTHERS.
Does body language affect how people see you? How?
Now we are going to practice make a brick wall or boundary with our voice. I am going to say a
phrase and I want you to repeat it back to me.
**Try to use words like “brick wall” and “boundary” inter-changeably until the students know
exactly what a boundary is. This repetition and imagery will help them to remember.
DO THE FOLLOWING WORDS AND PHRASES WITH DIFFERENT TONES AND VOLUMES
SO THEY CAN SEE A VARIETY OF WAYS TO SET BOUNDARIES. USE STRONG BODY
LANGUAGE-HANDS UP, WIDE STANCE, HEAD UP, EYES LOOKING TOWARDS PERSON
YOU ARE SPEAKING TO, SHOULDERS BACK. TO GIVE EXAMPLES OF INEFFECTIVE
BODY LANGUAGE, SAY THE PHRASES IN TONES THAT PEOPLE WOULD NOT TAKE
SERIOUSLY SO THE STUDENTS CAN SEE THE DIFERENCE. FOR EXAMPLE, GIGGLE
WHEN SAYING, “NO, I DON’T KNOW YOU” AND THEN SAY IT WITH A SERIOUS VOICE.
DO THIS SEVERAL TIMES TO REALLY SHOW THE DIFFERENCE. ALWAYS TRY TO END
THE GAME WITH A SERIES OF SERIOUS EXAMPLES.
Stop!
No!
You are too close!
I don’t know you!
Don’t touch me!
Don’t touch her!
Leave me alone!
I don’t like that!
Go away!
Good! Why do you think I had you play this game? How can this keep us safe? I said the same
phrases in many different ways, which ones do you think would help us most when we feel
unsafe? Which ones make you feel small? Large?
SEE GAMES LIST- “STOP!”
Now make two lines. One behind Jose and one behind Emma. Turn towards each other and
shake hands with the person across from you. This is your partner for the next game. Who
doesn’t have a partner?
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MAKE SURE EVERYONE HAS A PARTNER.
Everyone take ten steps back. Everyone on Jose’s side is going to walk in toward their partner.
Emma’s line is going to wait until you are two arm’s lengths away. Then they will all yell “stop!”,
making a strong brick wall or boundary with your voice and body. Two arms lengths is a safe
distance because your partner still can’t reach you.
DO SEVERAL TIMES AND THEN SWITCH ROLES.
What did it feel like to yell that loudly? Do you like to yell? Why do you think some of us feel so
weird when we have to yell? Yes, because some of us are shy, and some of us don’t want to hurt
anyone’s feelings. Or maybe because we aren’t used to raising our voices… It can be very
uncomfortable to yell, especially at an adult. But why do you think I want you to yell? Why is it
more important for you to yell than to worry about the other person’s feelings? Your safety is
most important to me. And if you’re feeling unsafe I want you to do whatever it takes to get out
of the situation. How do you think this exercise can make you feel safer?
Now, should we yell at every person who comes near us? No, of course not, right? Some people
we may want to come right up to us and give us a hug. Who would you like to receive hugs from?
All of us have different people we like to get hugs from. But how many of us have people who
want to hug us where that doesn’t feel good? They come running up and say, “Oh, Darnell you
are so cute, let me give you a hug.” But Darnell is thinking he doesn’t want a hug. Can he say
something to this person? Yes. What could he say? An “I” message, etc. The point here is that we
have different boundaries or brick walls for different people and that’s ok. Do you think I have
the same boundaries as some of you? No, we all have different boundaries and that’s great!
All right, here’s a story that needs an ending.
DO TWO OR SO OF THE SCENARIOS AT THE END OF THIS SECTION AND HAVE THEM
BRAINSTORM ENDINGS. THEN HAVE THEM DO ROLE-PLAYS OF EACH SCENARIO.
CHOOSE SOMEONE TO SAY “LIGHTS, CAMERA, ACTION” AND IF YOU NEED TO STOP
THE ROLE-PLAY SAY “CUT!” REMIND THE STUDENTS OF WHAT AN ATTENTIVE
AUDIENCE IS.
Good. Before I leave, let’s review the first two fingers of safety. The first finger of safety is….?
STUDENTS CALL OUT “USE YOUR HEAD”.
The second finger of safety is….?
STUDENTS CALL OUT “USE YOUR MOUTH”.
Just like you did last week, I have a piece of paper for your classroom. I want you to make a list,
everyday coming up with one way you use your mouth to help yourself feel safe.
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SCENARIOS-The Second Finger of Safety, “Use Your
Mouth”
GRADES K-5
A friend from your class has invited you for a sleepover. For some reason, you just don’t feel
comfortable staying over at her house. What can you say?
You are playing a game of dodgeball with a group of friends. The game started out great but
then it begins to get too rough for you. What can you say?
You and a friend are walking to the store. She keeps teasing you about something and even
though you have asked her to stop, she won’t. What can you say?
You have just gotten home from school and you see that your parent has fainted on the kitchen
floor. You need to call for help and call 911. What can you yell? What can you say to 911?
You and a friend have been playing in the side yard of your house. You smell smoke and see
black smoke blowing out the neighbors’ window. What can you do? What can you yell?
You are in the kitchen getting breakfast when you see your little brother about to touch the hot
stove. How do you respond? You yell “Stop!” as you quickly move him away from the danger.
You are out front of your house playing hopscotch and you see a friend about to step on a piece
of glass. What can you say?
GRADES 3-5
You studied all night for a Math test. A friend who sits behind you asks you to let him copy off
you by having you lean slightly to the side so he can see your test better. What are you going to
say to him?
You are on your way home from basketball practice. It’s getting kind of dark so you don’t notice
a group of older teenagers coming your way until they are right in front of you blocking your
way. You try to get around them but they are laughing at you and teasing you and won’t let you
by. What can you say?
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NARRATIVE INSTRUCTIONS-THE THIRD FINGER OF
SAFETY
GOALS FOR THE THIRD FINGER:
1. Children can identify two safe places for themselves.
2. Children understand why walking away can be a good decision.
3. Children have successfully practiced both walking away from
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Hello Everybody, Hello Room 12, Good Morning etc…I’m here again to talk about the five
fingers of safety. Do you remember the first two? I’m ready to test you. The first finger of safety
is…..
HOLD UP ONE FINGER AND HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR HEAD”.
The second finger of safety is….
HOLD UP TWO FINGERS AND HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR MOUTH”.
Great memory. OK let’s see your class list for the ways to use the second finger to be safe.
HAVE SOMEONE IN THE CLASS READ OFF THE CLASSROOM LIST. IF THE CLASS DIDN’T
MAKE A LIST, BRAINSTORM ONE OUT LOUD.
There are lots of things you can do so that you stay out of trouble and gain self-respect and
respect from your classmates aren’t there? Let’s take a look at a couple of tough situations I
came up with this week and see how this class might deal with them.
DO A COUPLE OF THE SCENARIOS EITHER AS A DISCUSSION TAKING SUGGESTED
SOLUTIONS FROM THE CLASS OR AS ROLE PLAYS WHERE STUDENTS COME UP AND
ACT SCENARIOS OUT.
The Third Finger of Safety is “Use Your Feet”. What is it?
HAVE THE CLASS REPEAT IT BACK TO YOU.
Your 1st finger, use your head, has kicked in and you realize that you are in a situation that
makes your really uncomfortable. Let’s say you are on the play structure with a group of friends.
One of them keeps coming up to you, quietly calling you names. You use your second finger and
ask this person to stop several times but they do not. What can you do?
GET IDEAS-TELL YOUR OTHER FRIENDS WHAT HE IS DOING, WALK AWAY AND GO
PLAY SOMETHING ELSE, GO AND TELL AN ADULT.
This is “Use your Feet”, running, hopping, skipping, jumping, skating or pedaling away. It is
about getting away from trouble before it gets you. You choose to change the situation. If the
student on the climbing structure isn’t going to stop calling you names, move away from them.
You don’t have to let them keep hurting you and you want them to know you have enough
confidence and self-respect to just go do something else.
TAKE CLASS OUTSIDE. ALL THE EXERCISES FOR THIS FINGER REQUIRE ROOM TO
MOVE AROUND. SEE GAMES LIST FOR THIS FINGER ON THE NEXT PAGE. END CLASS
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WITH THE HOMEWORK LISTED BELOW. AFTER EACH GAME MAKE SURE TO ASK HOW
THEY THINK THE GAME COULD HELP THEM TO KEEP SAFE.
For your homework, I want the class to make a list of all the times during the school day when
they walk away from trouble.
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SCENARIOS-The Third Finger of Safety, “Use Your Feet”
GRADES K-5
You are playing jump rope outside on the sidewalk. Across the street are two of your friends
playing ball. The ball rolls into the street and one of the children chases after it. You see a car
coming down the street. You run over to the edge of the sidewalk and yell, “Stop!” right before
she steps into the street.
You are sitting on your Aunt Pearl’s lap and she keeps tickling you. It is making you feel very
uncomfortable. You slide off her lap and walk into the other room.
A group of children are playing on the structure. One person keeps coming up to you and
quietly calling you names. What can you do? After you have asked him to stop several times,
you decide to leave and go play something else.
You are waiting out front of school for your parent to pick you up. A car pulls over to the curb
and calls you over to ask for directions. What can you do? Tell them to wait and go back inside
the school and let an adult know what is going on. If the school is locked, go to the nearest safe
place and tell them what has happened or ask to use the phone.
GRADES 3-5
You are walking home from school and you notice there is an adult following you. What can you
do? Cross the street. If the adult crosses as well, plan to enter the nearest safe place and ask to
use the phone. Call home, an adult friend or 911.
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NARRATIVE INSTRUCTIONS-The Fourth Finger of
Safety
GOALS FOR THE FOURTH FINGER:
1. Children can distinguish between anger and danger situations.
2. Children can define physical skills.
3. Children know when is an appropriate time to use their physical
skills.
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THIS WHOLE CLASS NEEDS OPEN SPACE SO EITHER TAKE THE GROUP OUT TO THE
YARD OR INTO A MULTI-PURPOSE ROOM.
Hello Everybody, Hello Room 12, Good Morning etc…I’m here again to talk about the five
fingers of safety. Do you remember the first two? I’m ready to test you. The first finger of safety
is…..
HOLD UP ONE FINGER AND HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR HEAD.”
The second finger of safety is….
HOLD UP TWO FINGERS AND HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR MOUTH.”
The third finger of safety is…
HOLD UP THREE FINGERS AND HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR FEET.”
CONGRATULATE THEM ON THEIR MEMORY.
Today we are going to talk about the fourth finger of safety, “Use Your Physical Skills, BUT Only
If You Have To.” Who has an idea what this means? This is a really confusing idea because over
and over again adults tell children not to use their physical skills. There ARE a few situations
you may face that require you to use your physical skills until you can get yourself to safety.
Hopefully you will never have to use your physical skills to protect yourself but it is important
we talk about when you might need them.
The first thing we want to figure out is what are your physical skills and when is it all right to use
them. First, what is a physical skill? Has anyone ever wanted to lash out and hit someone?
What made you want to hit them? I definitely have had that urge, when I’ve gotten really angry
with someone. Has anyone ever felt so frustrated or full of feeling and not known what to do
except to turn around and hit someone? For most of us, this is the only kind of situation we’ve
felt that desire to strike out. These Anger Situations usually get more serious when we bring
fighting into it. What happens if someone grabs the ball you are playing with and you push
them really hard to get it back? If you get in a fight with your friend, what gets hurt?
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ASK AND TAKE IDEAS. SAY THE SUGGESTIONS BELOW IF ANY OF THEM WERE NOT
SAID.
Heart
Feelings
Friendship
Family
School
Body
What could you have done instead, to make sure neither of you got hurt, you didn’t get in
trouble and the situation got taken care of?
So, there are lots of other options. You didn’t have to fight and it actually made the situation
worse when you did. Do you think it’s ok to use your physical skills to get in a fight? No. Your
physical skills are to be used to get away to a safer place, not to get in a fight. Again, is it ok to
use your physical skills to get in a fight?
The situations we were just talking about were ANGER SITUATIONS. We’re going to be
learning about ANGER SITUATIONS and DANGER SITUATIONS.
DANGER SITUATIONS are situations where you have very few options available to you and
you need to do something. How do you know when you are in a very dangerous situation? How
does the body tell you something is really wrong?
ASK FOR IDEAS AND ADD IN THE FOLLOWING IF THEY WEREN’T SAID.
You feel:
Nervous
Suddenly hot all over
Really uncomfortable
As if you want to disappear
Scared
Butterfly feeling in your stomach
Red face
Sweaty palms
Sick to your stomach
I am going to tell you several scenarios. Your job is to tell me if it’s an Anger Situation or a
Danger Situation.
IT MAY BE A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE FLASHCARDS FOR THE STUDENTS WITH AN “A” OR
A “D.” THIS WILL HELP YOU TO SEE WHETHER EVERYONE IS AGREEING ON ANGER OR
DANGER. GO OVER SEVERAL SCENARIOS, MIXING UP ANGER AND DANGER. THE
CLASS WILL JUST IDENTIFY WHICH IS WHICH.
Now that you know the difference between anger and danger, let’s talk about the steps we need
to take before we use our physical skills. Let’s say that after school this person keeps trying to
fight with you. You’ve asked them to stop but everyday they intimidate you ad pick on you.
You’re a little worried someday you may have to defend yourself if they decide to actually fight
you. What can you before you might need to use you physical skills?
YOU WANT THEM TO SAY TALK TO AN ADULT.
Right. You should talk to an adult. Now, do adults always listen to you? They don’t, right?
Sometimes they’re too busy or sometimes they’re just not that nice. How do you feel when adults
don’t listen to you? It doesn’t feel good right? That makes sense because we all want to be
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listened to—I don’t like it either when people don’t listen to me. If one adult doesn’t listen what
should you do next? Yes, tell another adult. So let’s make a list.
MAKE A LIST OF A BUNCH OF ADULTS THAT THE PERSON COULD TALK TO EACH TIME
PROVIDING A CLASSIC ADULT EXCUSE FOR NOT LISTENING TO A STUDENT.
This is a long list of adults. The reason I want you to do this is because if that person who’s
bothering you after school tries to fight you and you use your physical skills, you can say look, I
tried to tell…(REFER TO LIST) and no one helped me. This person tried to fight me and I had to
get away. Telling all these people and trying to get help can protect you if you ever have to use
you physical skills. Each time you tell an adult make sure you tell that adult all the other people
you tried to talk to—that way they know you’re serious about telling someone.
AS FAR AS THE INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING GOES, THE FOLLOWING IS HOW
PLAYWORKS IS SUGGESTING ADDRESSING IT. PRACTICE BEFOREHAND AND CHOOSE
LANGUAGE YOU ARE VERY COMFORTABLE WITH.
No one has the right to touch you in any way that makes you uncomfortable. People do not get
to just touch your bottom, your vagina or penis, or your chest just because they feel like it.
These are your private areas. Once in a while an adult may need to touch you in these private
parts. For example, a family member may have to help you while in the bath or help change a
baby’s diaper. Your doctor may need to touch your bottom during a check up. In these
situations your parents should be there with you and the doctor should always tell you first
what’s she or he is going to do.
If you’re in danger and you’ve used your first, second and third fingers to try and get away, do
you think it’s ok to use your physical skills, even if it’s a family member? What about a teacher?
What I’m trying to teach you is that if you are in danger and you’ve tried everything it is ok to
use your physical skills to get away. Do you use them to get in a fight?
Now let’s imagine you are waiting outside the school to get picked up by your mom. You’ve seen
me around but don’t really know me that well. I come up to you and say, “Hey little girl or hey
little boy. Your mom sent me to pick you up. She wasn’t feeling well so I’m supposed to bring
you home.” You know you aren’t supposed to go home with anyone but your family. You also get
that weird feeling in you r stomach. You say, “no” and start to go back inside the school. The
adult grabs your wrist and starts to pull you towards the car. This is a Danger Situation. I
need a volunteer to help me demonstrate this scenario. Thank you for volunteering. So what
can she say when I grab her?
TAKE SUGGESTIONS FROM THE CLASS AND CHOOSE ONE FOR THIS ROLE PLAY.
OK, let’s try it. When I grab you, the first thing you will yell is “no, I don’t know you.”
TRY IT ONCE ENCOURAGING A LOUD YELL. REMIND THE VOLUNTEER OF THE
SECOND FINGER EXERCISE, VOICE AS A BRICK WALL OR BOUNDARY.
Great yelling. Now the physical skill we are going to practice first is foot stomping. As I grab
you, I want you to yell, and stomp on my foot at the same time.
BE SURE TO HAVE A MARK ON THE GROUND OR SOMETHING FOR THE VOLUNTEER TO
STOMP SO THEY DON’T ACTUALLY STOMP ON YOUR FOOT. IT WILL REALLY HURT!
AFTER THEY DEMONSTRATE THE ROLE PLAY, KNEEL OVER, GRAB FOOT AND SAY
“OUCH, OUCH”.
Really good. Now as soon as I let go of you, what should you do? Right, run inside and get help.
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LINE STUDENTS UP AND HAVE EACH CHILD PRACTICE STOMPING ON PAD SEVERAL
TIMES AND YELLING LOUDLY EITHER, “NO, LET GO, OR I DON’T KNOW YOU!” TEACH
BLOCKS AND GRAB RELEASES-SEE PAGE
There are sensitive spots on all bodies. It doesn’t matter how big or small the person is or how
strong they are. Can anyone guess what is a very sensitive place on everyone’s body?
TAKE SUGGESTIONS. BE PREPARED FOR A LOT OF GIGGLES ABOUT PRIVATE PARTS.
Right, the eyes are one of the most sensitive place on any person’s body. Also the throat, the
knees and, for boys and men, the groin area are very sensitive and if you need to get out of a very
dangerous, scary situation you can hit, kick or poke those areas. We all have many parts of the
body that we can strike with. We already talked about the foot for stomping. What are other
parts of the body you could use?
Hands
Elbows
Knees
Learning to use your physical skills responsibly is a good idea. Why? Because sometimes things
happen that we don’t have control over and we need to be ready to take care of ourselves. Even
though most of the time, children have adults to protect them from danger, every once in a
while, children have to defend themselves. What we are teaching today is a good start in
learning how to protect your self in a danger situation. We want to encourage everyone to sign
up for a self-defense class to learn more and have more chances to practice.
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SCENARIOS-The Fourth Finger of Safety, Use Your
Physical Skills But Only If You Have To”
GRADES K-5
DANGER SCENARIOS
You are waiting outside the school to get picked up by your guardian. An adult you don’t know
comes up to you and says, “Hey little girl/ boy. Your mom sent me to pick you up. She wasn’t
feeling well so I’m suppose to bring you home.” You know you aren’t supposed to go home with
strangers. You say, “No,” and start to go back inside the school. He grabs your wrist and starts
to pull you towards the car. What can you do? Yell, “NO, I don’t know you. Let go!” Stomp on
foot. Run to safety.
Every time you go to the corner store an adult who works there tries to touch you on your
bottom as you pass by to buy some candy. One day when you are the only one in the store with
him, he grabs your arm and tries to pull you into the back of the store. What can you do? Yell,
pull away, stomp, etc., run to safety.
A person you don’t know walks up to you when you are playing with friends at the playground
and says he has some puppies to show you in his car. You can see them in the back seat and
forgot that you don’t know this person (so are not supposed to go anywhere with him). When
you get to the car to take a look, the person tries to push you into the backseat. What can you
do?
You are sitting on Uncle Charlie’s lap. First he is tickling you and it is fun but then he starts to
touch you on the chest. You feel uncomfortable and push his hand away and say, “That doesn’t
feel good.” He does it again. When you try to get off his lap, he holds on to you. What can you
do?
GRADES 4-5
A car pulls up in front of the school and asks you to come over to the car window. You refuse
and the driver gets angry. You try to get back inside the school but the door is locked. As you
begin to yell for someone to let you in the building, the driver is getting out of the car and
heading towards you. You decide to run towards the corner store where you know the
shopkeeper. As you are running and yelling for help, the driver grabs your arm. What can you
do?
ANGER SCENARIOS
An older student at school comes up to you and grabs the ball you are playing with out of your
hands and runs away. What can you do?
Someone behind you in line pushes you and you end up falling down hard and ripping your
pants. What can you do?
You are in a touch football game and it starts to get too rough. You end up getting tackled and
your new shirt gets dirt all over it. What can you do?
One student always gets the ball and totally dominates the basketball game, including deciding
who gets to play and who doesn’t. You are sick of it. What can you do?
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You told a friend something personal about your family situation and a few days later someone
else teased you about it. What can you do?
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NARRATIVE INSTRUCTIONS-The Fifth finger of Safety
GOALS FOR THE FIFTH FINGER:
1. Children have identified at least one if not two people they
feel comfortable talking to about uncomfortable situations.
2. Children understand the importance of talking to an adult
rather than another student.
3. Children are able to distinguish between a secret they can
OK class now we are ready to do the last finger of safety which is “Tell somebody What
Happened.” First though, let’s review the first four fingers. The first finger of safety is….
HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR HEAD” ALL TOGETHER
The second finger of safety is…
HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR MOUTH” ALL TOGETHER
The third finger of safety is….
HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR FEET” ALL TOGETHER
The fourth finger of safety is….
HAVE THE CLASS CALL OUT “USE YOUR PHYSICAL SKILLS BUT ONLY IF YOU HAVE TO”.
Great job. The fifth finger is different than the other four. It doesn’t start with Use Your… The
fifth finger of safety is “Tell Somebody What Happened.” What this finger is all about is having
a few adults in your life with whom you know you could talk to about anything.
Why is it important to have an adult to talk to? Why an adult and not just your best friend?
LET THEM KNOW THAT YOU THINK IT’S TERRIBLE THAT PEOPLE DON’T LISTEN TO
CHILDREN. THAT YOU THINK IF THEY WANT TO, THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO TAKE
CARE OF THINGS THEMSELVES BUT SINCE THE WORLD ISN’T LIKE THAT, RIGHT NOW
WE HAVE TO JUST DO WHAT WE CAN—AND THE BEST THING IS TO FIND AN ADULT.
How old is an adult? Is a teenager an adult? At Playworks when we say adult we mean someone
21 years or older. Let’s make along list of al the adults we think we can talk to about important
and maybe uncomfortable stuff.
BRAINSTORM LONG LIST OF ADULTS—INCLUDE YOURSELF IF THEY DON’T MENTION
YOU
This is a huge list! Look at the list for a second—are all of these family members? Nope. Some
are neighbors. Some are teachers. There are all kinds of different people on this list. Do they
have to be people in our family? No. Some of us don’t feel comfortable talking to our family and
that’s ok. We just need to find other adults we can talk to. IS on person’s safe adult better than
another’s? No, we all have different adults and that’s great!
Anytime something happens to you or around you that makes you feel queasy or funny or
nervous or full of questions, you want to tell an adult about it so they can help you sort it out. It
might also be when you get the feeling that you have a secret that you are scared to tell anyone.
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Secrets can be tricky. If you have a secret with a friend, like say you told something about how
your grandmother has to move away because she lost her job. That is a secret that you trust
your friend to keep. If you tell a friend a secret or they tell you a secret, you are each trusting the
other not to tell anyone else. But if someone tells you a secret that makes you feel sick to your
stomach or very worried, it’s good to have an adult you can trust to talk about it with. If an adult
asks a child to keep a secret, it is confusing. This is also a situation where it is very helpful to
have a different adult you can trust to talk about it with.
Let’s make a list of secrets to keep and secrets to tell.
BRAINSTORM LIST—THIS CAN BE TRICKY. IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO TALK ABOUT
EACH SECRET ON THE LIST BECAUSE THERE WILL BE SEVERAL DISAGREEMENTS. THE
POINT IS TO GET THEM TO DECIDE ON THEIR OWN—WE DON’T NEED TO TELL THEM
EACH TIME WHAT TO DO—ONLY ON THE IMPORTANT SECRETS LIKE TOUCHING ETC.
The reason you want to talk to an adult about something that is confusing rather than your best
friend or teenage brother or sister is that you actually want help in figuring out how to deal with
the situation. Adults can do that. Can you think of a grown up that you could tell anything to?
It could be someone on this list or someone else. I want everyone to close your eyes. Now think
of two adults that you could talk to about anything. Who would you pick?
TAKE HANDS OR GO AROUND THE CIRCLE AND HAVE EVERYONE SAY WHO THEY
CHOSE.
It is so wonderful to know that you all have adults you can talk to about anything. If anyone
didn’t have an adult they could talk to I want you to know that I am always ready to talk to any
of you about things that are hard to understand or that make you feel funny inside. If you do
have an adult in your mind but you didn’t want to tell everyone else, just take a minute and
think about that person again right now so you won’t forget.
Now you know all five fingers of safety. Let’s review them all one more time.
REVIEW BY SAYING THE FIRST FINGER OR SAFETY IS…ETC…
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VIOLENCE PREVENTION GAMES
IN THE NAME OF THE ADVERB (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 3rd-5th grade
Length of Activity? 20 minutes
Goal: To develop nonverbal communication skills.
Skills Learned: Nonverbal communication skills, expression of different emotions
Equipment Needed: A stack of cards with action phrases (brushing your teeth, dancing,
washing the dishes, painting a mural, etc.) A second stack of cards with adverbs (lovingly,
angrily, anxiously, proudly, sleepily, etc.)
Set-Up: Have your group sit around in a half circle with the open side being used as “the stage.”
Description: The first person to go draws a card from each of the two stacks. She is to act out
the situation according to the emotion without using her voice (ex. Happily climbing a
mountain). The first person to correctly guess both what she is doing and how she is feeling
draws the next card.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When all
children understand the two elements of the charade they are to act out and are sitting around
the half circle.
Mid-point questions: What are the challenges of this game so far? What kind of clues help
you know what they are doing and how they are feeling?
Closing questions: What are the skills this game is trying to teach? Did you learn anything
about yourself while playing this game? Why are we playing a game that includes so many
different kinds of emotions?
Variation(s): Let students write up the cards themselves.
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OBJECT TOUCH GAME (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5th grade
Length of Activity? 5-10 minutes
Goal: To develop awareness of surroundings.
Skills Learned: Spatial awareness, awareness of others, navigation, memorization, hand eye
coordination
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have your group gathered up
Description: There are three rounds to this game.
Round A) Leader lists 5-10 objects in the surrounding space. Students repeat them back to her
to make sure they remember them. Students have 10 seconds to rush around and tag each of the
named objects and return to the circle. Leader asks for a show of hands of those who
remembered and touched all the objects and then of those who touched all the objects
WITHOUT touching another person.
Round B) Leader lists 5-10 objects (can be a combination of repeats and new objects). Students
have 10 seconds to rush around and touch these objects this time making sure NOT TO TOUCH
one another. When they return to the circle leader asks for a show of hands of those who were
successful not touching anyone else
Round C) Leader lists 5-10 objects and corresponding body parts that have to touch those
objects (ex. Touch a wall with your head, touch a chair with your knee). Students have 10
seconds to touch those objects and return to the circle. Leader asks for a show of hands of those
who were able to remember and touch all the objects with the right body parts.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? At each round,
all children can repeat back the objects to be touched (and body parts for the third round).
After Round B questions: What felt different in this round? What kept you from running
into each other? What parts of your body were you using to help keep you from running into
others?
Closing questions: What are the skills this game is trying to teach? Did you learn anything
about yourself while playing this game? What might this game have to do with your safety?
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WHERE ARE YOU? (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 1-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? Less than 5 minutes
Goal: To teach children safety through awareness of space and place
Skills Learned: Awareness
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: This is an inside game. Have children sit down as a group.
Description: Have children look around the room. Then have them close their eyes and don’t
peek. You tell them you are going to ask them questions about the room and they can either
answer out loud all at once or point with their finger. Examples of questions are:
 Point in the direction of the doors, windows, fire exit, clock, piano, sun, trashcan, street,
school, teacher etc…
 What color are the walls, ceilings, rugs, chairs, curtains, sky, ground, lines etc…
 How many doors, exits, windows, chairs, people, exits, fences, benches ,people…
After you have quizzed them, have them open their eyes and see how they did. You can
introduce and define the word awareness and connect it to Use Your Head from the Five
Fingers of Safety.
Questions for discussion could be:
 What body parts help people be aware?
 What is positive about being aware?
 How could being aware help you to be safe?
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? Children are
sitting quietly in a group with their eyes shut.
Variation(s): Have children visualize their homes, bedroom etc. Ask children the same
questions and have them write down the answers and check them when they go home.
Cooperative Games
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WHAT CHANGED? (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How many children can participate? 30
What age group is it for? K-5
Length of activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To develop awareness
Skill learned: observation
Equipment: none
Description: Children gather and the group leader asks for four volunteers. The volunteers
stand in a line in front of the rest of the group in a frozen pose. The group is instructed to look
carefully at the details of how the volunteers are dressed, how they are standing, how their hair
is. After the group has looked carefully, they are instructed to close their eyes or turn around
and not peek. One of the volunteers changes one thing, or switches places with another
volunteer. Then they freeze again with the new change in place. The group is instructed to open
their eyes and raise a hand if they want to guess what changed. If someone in the group gets it
right, they can come up and replace the person who had something changed. This game can go
through several rounds and the changes can get increasingly more challenging. Just don’t jump
to really challenging changes too quickly! Let everyone get the hang of being observant.
How do you know when children are ready to start?: When you have the whole group
able to see the front and four volunteers in front, they are ready to start.
Follow-up: Initiate a discussion about what types of changes were easier or more difficult to
identify. Ask students to make a list about why the game is fun.
Variations: Children can play the game in partners or smaller groups and have only one
person make the changes.
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BODY LANGUAGE/EMOTION CIRCLE (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 1-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To be able to identify different emotions
Skills Learned: emotional vocabulary
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have students get into a circle. Prepare a list of basic emotions to use in advance of the
game. This game can be played inside or out
Description: Begin by discussing physical cues that show signs of emotional feeling. Name an
emotion and give an example of how that emotion looks. Demonstrate with your whole body.
Let a student pick an emotion and have the whole group mime how that emotion might look.
Begin the game by having a student pick an emotion and mime how it might look. Then each
student mimes the emotion one by one all the way around the circle. Examples of the major
emotion groups are:
 Sad
 Mad
 Glad
After you have gone around the circle a few times, ask some discussion questions. Examples of
questions are:
 Why do you think it is important to be able to notice how another person is feeling?
 How could this game help to keep you safe?
 What would be important in terms of safety with knowing how you are feeling?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly standing in
a circle, they are ready to start.
VARIATIONS: ALLOW STUDENT TO ADD THE SOUND FOR EACH EMOTION ALONG
WITH THE BODY LANGUAGE
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PARTNER STUDY (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 2-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To practice memory and observation skills
Skills Learned: awareness, observation
Equipment Needed: This can be played inside or outside
Set-Up: Have students get in partners and begin by facing each other, a few feet apart
Description: Have children silently study each other for thirty seconds. Then have them sit
back to back. Ask them questions about their partners. Instruct them to answer out loud in a
normal speaking voice. Examples of questions are:






What color is your partners hair
Do they have any piercings?
What color are their shoes?
Are they wearing jewelry?
Is your partner taller than you are?
What color are their eyes?
After you have quizzed them, have them turn around and look at their partner to see how they
did. Ask them how this exercise could teach them skills to be safe. Reiterate the definition of
awareness and begin a discussion about awareness. Questions for discussion could be:



What body parts help people to be aware?
What is positive about being aware?
How does being aware help to keep you safe?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly sitting in
front of their partner, they are ready to start.
VARIATIONS: VARY THE DIFFICULTY OF THE QUESTIONS. VARY HOW PERSONAL
THE QUESTIONS ARE.
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KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5
minutes
Goal: To know what a personal boundary is and how to recognize them
Skills Learned: how to set a personal boundary
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have students get into a circle.
Description: One student is in the middle of the circle. The leader chooses one student to
wald towards the person in the middle. The person in the center is instructed to turn towards
the approaching students, take a strong stance with arms out in front of their chest and say
STOP! If the approaching student gets closer than two arms distances, the student in the center
is instructed to take a step back and say STOP again. Let each student take a turn in the middle.
Questions for discussion could be:
 Are our personal boundaries the same for everybody?
 Is it sometimes difficult to tell someone to step away from you?
 How does this game help to teach safety skills?
 When might you have to use personal boundary setting skills?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly standing in
a circle with one person in the middle, they are ready to start.
Variations: Student in the center can start out with their eyes closed. When they sense the
person approaching, they open their eyes, take a strong stance and say STOP!
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HEY YOU! (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5th grade
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To recognize the nonverbal cues of emotions
Skills Learned: Nonverbal communication, expression of different emotions, emotion
recognition
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Everyone is gathered in a contained or clearly marked area
Description: Students walk around the space acting out the emotion the leader names. The
leader may tell a story that helps children get into that emotion. When the leader yells, “Hey,
you!” all children turn and face her and say, still in that emotion, “What?” The leader should be
able to read that emotion on their bodies and hear it in their voice. Repeat with the same
emotion a second time this time instructing the children to be really dramatic when they are
acting out the emotion. Leader does several rounds of this using different emotions.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When all
children understand they are suppose to respond by acting out the emotion named.
Closing questions: What did you notice about each round? Did they feel/ look/ sound
different? What was your body as you expressed each emotion? Where were you looking?
What kind of facial expression did you have? Were you loud or soft spoken? Where you filling
up a lot of space or a small amount of space? What about your breath? Your hands? What are
the skills this game is trying to teach? Did you learn anything about yourself while playing this
game? Why is recognizing emotional cues so important?
Variation(s): Let students take turn being the leader, calling out the emotions first and then
“Hey You!” for everyone else to respond to.
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EVERYONE’S IT (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Time of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To develop spatial awareness, awareness of each other
Skills Learned: Evasion, appropriate touch, spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Establish boundaries.
Description: The object is for students to tag each other on the back and keep a running count
of everyone they touch in three minutes without being tagged (of course this is impossible but it
encourages them to side-step and evade others). Have them award themselves a point for every
person they tag. No one is “it” and no one stops playing or “freezes” when tagged. Try to
confine all of the students to a relatively small area so that constant motion is encouraged.
Demonstrate how to tag someone using your fingertips and not pushing or hurting the other
person.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they can
show you how to tag correctly and tell you where the boundaries are located.
Variations: Have students tag each others’ shoulders, top of the head, knees, etc.
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WORD CIRCLE (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10-15 minutes
Goal: To teach children how tone of voice and body language shape communication
Skills Learned: verbal communication, observation
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Children get into a circle and everyone gets to pick a fun word.
Description: Go around and have each person say what their word is going to be. Ask for a
volunteer to start with their word. They get to say their word any way they want, and then it
goes one by one around the circle with each person trying to copy the exact way the first person
said it. Every person in the circle gets to be a word leader. Give an example, using your word, of
how you can change a word by using tone, volume or inflection.
Demonstrations: Demonstrate how body language can also spice-up a word.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children are in a circle, know what word they are going to say, and know what direction the
circle is going. The children should be able to give examples of using the same words with
different tones, volumes and inflections.
Variation(s): The game can be enhanced by seeing how fast the group can go, while still
trying to copy exactly the way the leader said the word.
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NOW! (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To learn to recognize small changes
Skills Learned: awareness, observation
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: One person is up in front of the group where they can be easily seen by everyone. This
game can be played inside or outside.
Description: The person who is “IT” starts to very slowly make some sort of movement. As
soon as the audience sees them move, they clap their hands once and yell “NOW”. Go through
several rounds with different students up front.
Questions for a discussion could be:





Why would I have you play a game like this?
How can observation skills help to keep you safe?
Were some movements easier to see than others?
Which movements were the easiest to see?
Why is it important to notice very small movements?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly grouped up
and one student is up front, the group is ready to start.
Variations: Students identify what part of the body the movement originates (ie. hand, foot,
leg etc…)
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STOP! (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 3-5
Length of Activity? 10-15 minutes
Goal: To develop the ability to use the voice as a powerful tool in establishing boundaries.
Skills Learned: verbal communication, awareness
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: The game starts by everyone getting a partner and standing across the room from their
partner about twenty to thirty steps away.
Description: Explain that in this game we are practicing making our voices like a brick wall.
Ask what a brick wall is like. Give some examples of situations where people just don’t seem to
hear us unless we really speak up. Give an example of a really loud, clear STOP. Then explain
that one partner is going to walk up to the other partner. They can walk slow or fast or inbetween. The partner is going to wait until the person approaching them is two arms distances
away. When they get to that distance, they yell STOP! Explain that two arms distances is still a
“safe” distance because the person approaching can’t touch them. Each pair gets to go at their
own pace. After you have seen that one side has gotten to be a brick wall a half dozen or so
times, switch role and repeat the above steps.
Demonstrations: Have one student walk twenty steps away from you, turn around and walk
towards you. When they are two arms distances from you yell ”STOP!” Have the children
observe how you say STOP with your voice and body.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children can show you how they will say STOP and can show you how far two arms distance
away is from them. Also, make sure that the student walking towards their partner understands
that they have to respect their partner when they say STOP and stop regardless of how strongly
they say it.
Variation(s): Make a game of it! Have the students form a circle and ask one vounteer to be
in the middle. The volunteer will shut their eyes and stay standing in a specific area. The
teacher will then go around the circle and select one player to approach the person in the middle
and try to tag them. When the person hears the teacher’s voice yell ( NOW! / GO! / WATCH
OUT!) the person in the middle can open their eyes and locate the person approaching them
and yell STOP! The person approaching must stop immediately. If the approacher does not
reach the person in the middle then they return to their spot in the circle. The whole circle takes
one step forward and the game starts again with the same person in the middle. If the person
in the middle is tagged, they switch with the tagger and the circle returns to it’s original
diameter.
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PARTNER TAG (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5-10 minutes
Goal: To develop children’s agility and evasion techniques
Objectives Learned: Learning how to change speeds, how to change directions, how to move
your body
Skills Learned: Agile body movements, sharpen reflexes, evasion techniques
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have children find a partner and select the playing area with set boundaries
Description: Have the partners decide who is it first or designate who is it by giving students
numbers. When you say go whoever is it will try to tag their partner. Go over proper ways of
tagging. When the partner is tagged they become it. Children can get very tired during this
game so it is a good idea to stop frequently and switch partners. Have a signal to begin the
game, to switch partners, and to end the game.
Demonstrations: This game is fairly simple so you may only need to go over how to tag
safely.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When children
can tell you the playing area, which partner is it, and safe ways to tag.
Variation(s): “Shadow Tag” is similar to this game in that the children partner up and chase
only their partner. However, in this game they don’t try to tag their partner but just stay as close
to them as possible without touching them, or “shadow” them. Then after 30 seconds the
teacher gives the signal to freeze and the partner who is it can take one step to tag their partner.
Then switch roles and play again. More steps can be added to make it harder/easier on the
partners.
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WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF… (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 15-25
What Age Group Is It For? 3-5grade
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To teach children how to make decision that can keep them safe.
Skills Learned: Problem solving, conceptual thinking
Equipment Needed: Any thing needed for a relay race
Set-Up: Set up a simple race with four teams. One person on each team will run at a time.
Description: You get your students lined up and tell the first four where and how they have to
do the race. For example, they may have to be hopping while singing or running while
continuously yelling. Say go. The first person back has to answer the question, “What would
you say if…” Questions can be easy like, “What would you say if your mom asked if you wanted
some ice cream?” Insist that they answer in a full sentence. One word answers are not
acceptable. After the first runner back has answered, ask anyone else if they have another
answer. Take two or three and then go to the next set of racers. After you have gone through the
whole group, the game is over.
Questions could be:
What would you say if …






A friend wants you to go to the store with her but you promised your mom you wouldn’t
leave the house?
Your stomach hurts and you want to go to the office but you have a substitute teacher
that is mean and won’t let you?
Some grown up on the street asked you to help them carry some things upstairs?
A new neighbor (a child) invited you over their house but you haven’t gotten permission
yet to go to their house from yours or their parents?
Your friend said if you didn’t give her your candy she would tell everyone a secret you
told her?
An older kid kept pushing you around on the way home from school?
Question for discussion:



Does it help to practice what you say?
Do you have any situations where you feel uncomfortable saying the truth to someone?
Why do you think learning to speak up in sticky situations could help you be safer?
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children can repeat to you where and how they are completing the race and what a complete
sentence is.
Variation(s): You can change the format of the race or add to the questions.
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SPEAK UP, I CAN’T HEAR YOU (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 3-5 grade
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To enhance verbal communication skills
Skills Learned: Assertive speech, awareness
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have children sit in a group as if they were going to see a performance. Have
scenarios prepared in advance.
Description: Theater games offer a fun way to play act challenging social situations and
develop new strategies for dealing with them. This game is a good one for practicing the basics
of assertive speech. Go over with the children some tactics for making themselves clear without
becoming overly aggressive. Take suggestions and be sure to offer basic tips like making good
eye contact, having body language be bold, using a powerful tone of voice and not being afraid to
repeat their message if it seems to not be heard the first time. Ask for a pair of volunteers to go
up and try it out one of the scenarios. Designate roles and say “Roll “em!” to start and “Cut!” to
stop the action. Less than one minute is usually enough time for each pair. Let as many pairs
try as want to or as you have time for.
Sample scenarios:
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A friend’s mother offers you some chocolate chip cookies from her favorite recipe. You
hate chocolate chip cookies. What can you say?
A teacher tells you to go down the slide. You don’t want to because you are scared. What
can you cay?
A friend wants you to lend them your Barbie, bike, skateboard, or something. You don’t
want to. What can you say?
Questions for discussion:

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

Does this ever happen to you?
What does it feel like when someone is really pressuring you?
Do you ever do this to others?
What safety skills do you get from this game?
Demonstrations: Demonstrate with one of the students to show how sometimes people act as
if they cannot hear you, when they don’t really like what you are saying.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? Children who are
in the audience are sitting down quietly with their focus on the performers. The children
performing feel comfortable in their role and have an understanding of what they will say.
348
TOUCH BUT DON’T GET TOUCHED (THE THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To learn evasion
Skills Learned: agility
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: You need to have enough open space for the group to move around freely
Description: Everyone in the group at the signal is going to try to touch others backs without
getting their own back touched. Tell students to touch lightly and be aware of their
surroundings. Have a clear signal for the group to freeze when the round is over.
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When students are clear on the game,
they are ready to start.
Variations: Have students touch each other on the knee, the top of the head, the elbow or the
feet without getting touched.
349
THE EAGLE AND THE MOUSE (THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10-15 minutes
Goal: To improve children’s awareness and reaction to unsafe situations
Skills Learned: awareness, agility
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have the children form a line. Away form the group, designate one area where the
eagle will stand and another area (about ten feet away) where the mouse will stand. You want to
make sure that no one will get caught on their first try.
Description: Ask the group for two volunteers, assign one to be the eagle and the other to be
the mouse. Tell the story that a mouse been wandering in a field when it began to smell the sent
of a eagle. It could not see the eagle (which it knew liked to hide in trees) but it knew it was near
by. So the mouse decided to remain very still so the eagle would not see it. The eagle knew the
mouse was very good at finding safe places to hide from eagles so it also remained very still
waiting for the right moment to pounce out of the tree and go after the mouse. So to begin the
game the eagle and the mouse will stand in their designated area and remain perfectly still. The
eagle will remain very still until it has decided to go after the mouse, but once it has moved even
a little bit the mouse would see it and could start running. The mouse cannot move until it sees
the eagle move, at which point the mouse will run to it’s safe place as fast as it can. The safe
place will be a spot about 10 feet behind where he mouse is standing. It works well if the teacher
asks as the safe place. Talk to the children about what their safe places are and have them
visualize it while they are playing. As the children get better at getting to their safe spot, shorten
the distance between the mouse and the eagle.
Discussion Questions:



Do you feel you have enough safe spots in you life?
How hard was it to get to your safe spot?
How could this game help you to be safe?
Demonstrate how to be both the mouse and the eagle with a volunteer. Show how the eagle
must remain still and go from standing still to full-on running after the mouse. Reemphasize
there is no faking. Show how the mouse must also remain still and react quickly to the
movement of the eagle.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children can repeat to you the duties of the mouse and the eagle and can define what a “safe
place” is to them.
Variation(s): “THE LIZARD AND THE FLY” is basically the same game but instead of the
children going from a standing position they must both start from the ground on their backs.
350
OBSTACLE COURSE (THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To teach agility
Skills Learned: agility, teamwork
Equipment Needed: jump ropes, cones, balls, chairs, chalk and other fun obstacle course
stuff
Set-Up: Set up the course before the class comes outside. Make it appropriately challenging for
each age group.
Description: Get the group into two teams and show them how to move through the course.
Emphasize getting through the course versus competing against the other team.
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When the group knows how to get
through each component of the course, they are ready to start.
Variations: Set up a course that students could work in partners and lead one of the pair
through the course blindfolded.
351
PARTNER ENGAGEMENT (THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 4-5
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To practice walking away from conflicts
Skills Learned: decision-making, conceptual thinking
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Everyone gets a partner. Leader should prepare scenarios in advance for students to
use that include guidelines for conduct during the role play.
Description: Students are in partners. One student picks a scenario from the leader. The
scenario defines a way to pick a fight with their partner. They begin to act out the scenario and
their partner practices responding non-aggressively. If they are unable to talk their partner
down, they are to take a deep breath and walk away. They can walk to a designated “safe” spot
in the room or field they are playing in. Demonstrate with two students who you think will be
able to do it well. Let students pick scenarios and begin. When all have walked away or deescalated the conflict, change roles and pick new scenarios. Emphasize following the guidelines
in the scenario cards so that things don’t get out of hand in real time!
Scenarios you could use are:


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

A friend is trying to get another friend to come to a party with them and the friend
doesn’t want to go.
A classmate is calling another classmate names.
A neighbor is talking disrespectfully about their partner’s family.
Someone is cutting in line.
Someone won’t pass the ball to another student.
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When students are in partners and
clear on the ground rules for the game, they are ready to start.
352
DRAGON STICK (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To teach children to respond with evasion techniques.
Skills Learned: evasion, awareness, body connection
Equipment Needed: Broom length padded stick/foam tube (swimming pool tubes are great)
Set-Up: Get your group into a circle. Children should have ample space between themselves
and the people next to them.
Description: Explain to the children that the stick is a dragon and they are in the dragon’s
lair. They are surrounded by mud and slime with lots of alligators in it, so they can’t run away.
You will swing the stick at different parts of their body. When you swing towards their legs, tell
them the dragon is going to eat their feet so they have to jump. When you swing towards their
head, tell them to duck. If you go towards their belly they have to side step and if you swing
straight down over their head they also side step. First go all the way around the circle with each
of the four options. After children are familiar with the evasive movement, mix it up. Change
what you aim for with the stick, what direction you are heading, and who you are swinging at.
Demonstrations: Show the group by using a volunteer how the different evasive movements
look. Emphasize the playful element that they are trying to avoid being eaten by the dragon.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the group
is in a circle and can explain how to avoid the dragon and what the area is in which they can
maneuver, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): For older children who may not relate to dragons, the person leading the game
could be a Japanese Samurai or a ninja or some other appropriate character.
353
CIRCLE BLOCK (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5 grade
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize a threatening strike and respond appropriately
Skills Learned:
Hand/Eye coordination, awareness, body connection
Equipment Needed: Noodle (for swimming) or foam covered stick
Set-Up: Have the students form a circle standing with one leg behind the other, knees slightly
bent, arms up protecting their head. The instructor stands in the center.
Description: The instructor explains and demonstrates the blocking technique to the whole
group. Then the instructor goes around and strikes with the foam while each student practices
the block. After all students are comfortable with the block, the instructor can mix up the order
of the students they are striking.
Demonstrations: Demonstrate the simple boxers block to the sides of the head.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are all
standing in a circle, one leg behind the other, knees slightly bent and arms up in a box shape
protecting their head, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): After students are comfortable with and have practiced the boxers block, add an
over head block to the top of the head and a sweeping block to the mid-section. Demonstrate
mixing these blocks up and then follow the same format described above.
.
354
STOMP AND RUN (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize dangerous situations and respond appropriately
Skills Learned:
body connection, stomping, evasion, agility
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have the students spread out in a line standing with one leg behind the other, knees
slightly bent, arms up protecting their head. Use the lines of the kickball diamond or other prepainted lines on the playground.
Description: The instructor explains and demonstrates the stomp kick to the foot and has
students practice. On the instructor’s signal, (“Hey you!” or “Now!”) all students do three foot
stomps with a loud yell (“No!” “I don’t know you!”) then run to a second designated line (the
“safe place”). Repeat the exercise, having students return to original line.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are all
in a line with one leg behind the other, knees slightly bent, and arms up in a box shape
protecting their head, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): After students are comfortable with and have practiced the foot stomp,
incorporate blocks. You can specify instructions, for example, and say “Using 3 stomps, go!” or
“Using 2 overhead blocks and 2 stomps, go!”
355
CIRCLE GRAB (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize threatening grabs and respond appropriately
Skills Learned: specific grab releases, body connection
Equipment Needed:
none
Set-Up: Have the students stand in a circle.
Description: The instructor explains and demonstrates how to do a wrist release and has
several students practice the release in front of the group. Give clear instructions about how to
do a practice grab so the contact is not too aggressive. Also specify safety concerns with each
grab release. The instructor begins the circle grab by grabbing the left wrist of the student on his
right. The student does the wrist release and loudly says, “Let go.” Then that student grabs the
wrist of the student on his or her right. Continue around the circle until the grab returns to the
instructor.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are all
standing in a circle, students are ready to start.
Variation(s): After students have practiced and are comfortable with the wrist release, have
them practice other responses to being grabbed. Do the circle grab exercise as described above
and have students use only their voice (“You are grabbing my wrist. I don’t like that. Let go.”).
In response, grabber lets go. The third time around, students respond to the grab just using
strong body language (facing the grabber directly, making eye contact, giving a stern look…).
356
GRAB RELEASE RELAY (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize threatening grabs and respond appropriately
Skills Learned:
grab releases, body connection, agility
Equipment Needed:
none
Set-Up: Have the students make two lines.
Description: The instructor reviews how to do the different grab releases that students have
learned. The instructor and another adult volunteer each stand facing their line. They each
grab their first person. That student does the grab release then immediately run to the
designated end point (“safe place”) and yell, “Go!” That signals the grabber to grab the next
person in line. The relay continues until everyone reaches the “safe place”.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are
standing in two lines facing the endpoint on the other end of the field, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): Using a noodle (in the non-grabbing hand), add a strike for the student to block
after they have done the grab release. They then run to the cone as above. Have students add
using their voice as they are running.
*** For this game, ask an adult volunteer beforehand if they are willing to participate.
357
IN THE NAME OF THE ADVERB (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 3rd-5th grade
Length of Activity? 20 minutes
Goal: To develop nonverbal communication skills.
Skills Learned: Nonverbal communication skills, expression of different emotions
Equipment Needed: A stack of cards with action phrases (brushing your teeth, dancing,
washing the dishes, painting a mural, etc.) A second stack of cards with adverbs (lovingly,
angrily, anxiously, proudly, sleepily, etc.)
Set-Up: Have your group sit around in a half circle with the open side being used as “the stage.”
Description: The first person to go draws a card from each of the two stacks. She is to act out
the situation according to the emotion without using her voice (ex. Happily climbing a
mountain). The first person to correctly guess both what she is doing and how she is feeling
draws the next card.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When all
children understand the two elements of the charade they are to act out and are sitting around
the half circle.
Mid-point questions: What are the challenges of this game so far? What kind of clues help
you know what they are doing and how they are feeling?
Closing questions: What are the skills this game is trying to teach? Did you learn anything
about yourself while playing this game? Why are we playing a game that includes so many
different kinds of emotions?
Variation(s): Let students write up the cards themselves.
358
OBJECT TOUCH GAME (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5th grade
Length of Activity? 5-10 minutes
Goal: To develop awareness of surroundings.
Skills Learned: Spatial awareness, awareness of others, navigation, memorization, hand eye
coordination
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have your group gathered up
Description: There are three rounds to this game.
Round A) Leader lists 5-10 objects in the surrounding space. Students repeat them back to her
to make sure they remember them. Students have 10 seconds to rush around and tag each of the
named objects and return to the circle. Leader asks for a show of hands of those who
remembered and touched all the objects and then of those who touched all the objects
WITHOUT touching another person.
Round B) Leader lists 5-10 objects (can be a combination of repeats and new objects). Students
have 10 seconds to rush around and touch these objects this time making sure NOT TO TOUCH
one another. When they return to the circle leader asks for a show of hands of those who were
successful not touching anyone else
Round C) Leader lists 5-10 objects and corresponding body parts that have to touch those
objects (ex. Touch a wall with your head, touch a chair with your knee). Students have 10
seconds to touch those objects and return to the circle. Leader asks for a show of hands of those
who were able to remember and touch all the objects with the right body parts.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? At each round,
all children can repeat back the objects to be touched (and body parts for the third round).
After Round B questions: What felt different in this round? What kept you from running
into each other? What parts of your body were you using to help keep you from running into
others?
Closing questions: What are the skills this game is trying to teach? Did you learn anything
about yourself while playing this game? What might this game have to do with your safety?
359
WHERE ARE YOU? (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 1-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? Less than 5 minutes
Goal: To teach children safety through awareness of space and place
Skills Learned: Awareness
Equipment Needed: None.
Set-Up: This is an inside game. Have children sit down as a group.
Description: Have children look around the room. Then have them close their eyes and don’t
peek. You tell them you are going to ask them questions about the room and they can either
answer out loud all at once or point with their finger. Examples of questions are:
 Point in the direction of the doors, windows, fire exit, clock, piano, sun, trashcan, street,
school, teacher etc…
 What color are the walls, ceilings, rugs, chairs, curtains, sky, ground, lines etc…
 How many doors, exits, windows, chairs, people, exits, fences, benches ,people…
After you have quizzed them, have them open their eyes and see how they did. You can
introduce and define the word awareness and connect it to Use Your Head from the Five
Fingers of Safety.
Questions for discussion could be:
 What body parts help people be aware?
 What is positive about being aware?
 How could being aware help you to be safe?
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? Children are
sitting quietly in a group with their eyes shut.
Variation(s): Have children visualize their homes, bedroom etc. Ask children the same
questions and have them write down the answers and check them when they go home.
Cooperative Games
360
WHAT CHANGED? (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How many children can participate? 30
What age group is it for? K-5
Length of activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To develop awareness
Skill learned: observation
Equipment: none
Description: Children gather and the group leader asks for four volunteers. The volunteers
stand in a line in front of the rest of the group in a frozen pose. The group is instructed to look
carefully at the details of how the volunteers are dressed, how they are standing, how their hair
is. After the group has looked carefully, they are instructed to close their eyes or turn around
and not peek. One of the volunteers changes one thing, or switches places with another
volunteer. Then they freeze again with the new change in place. The group is instructed to open
their eyes and raise a hand if they want to guess what changed. If someone in the group gets it
right, they can come up and replace the person who had something changed. This game can go
through several rounds and the changes can get increasingly more challenging. Just don’t jump
to really challenging changes too quickly! Let everyone get the hang of being observant.
How do you know when children are ready to start?: When you have the whole group
able to see the front and four volunteers in front, they are ready to start.
Follow-up: Initiate a discussion about what types of changes were easier or more difficult to
identify. Ask students to make a list about why the game is fun.
Variations: Children can play the game in partners or smaller groups and have only one
person make the changes.
361
BODY LANGUAGE/EMOTION CIRCLE (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 1-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To be able to identify different emotions
Skills Learned: emotional vocabulary
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have students get into a circle. Prepare a list of basic emotions to use in advance of the
game. This game can be played inside or out
Description: Begin by discussing physical cues that show signs of emotional feeling. Name an
emotion and give an example of how that emotion looks. Demonstrate with your whole body.
Let a student pick an emotion and have the whole group mime how that emotion might look.
Begin the game by having a student pick an emotion and mime how it might look. Then each
student mimes the emotion one by one all the way around the circle. Examples of the major
emotion groups are:
 Sad
 Mad
 Glad
After you have gone around the circle a few times, ask some discussion questions. Examples of
questions are:
 Why do you think it is important to be able to notice how another person is feeling?
 How could this game help to keep you safe?
 What would be important in terms of safety with knowing how you are feeling?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly standing in
a circle, they are ready to start.
VARIATIONS: ALLOW STUDENT TO ADD THE SOUND FOR EACH EMOTION ALONG
WITH THE BODY LANGUAGE
362
PARTNER STUDY (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 2-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To practice memory and observation skills
Skills Learned: awareness, observation
Equipment Needed: This can be played inside or outside
Set-Up: Have students get in partners and begin by facing each other, a few feet apart
Description: Have children silently study each other for thirty seconds. Then have them sit
back to back. Ask them questions about their partners. Instruct them to answer out loud in a
normal speaking voice. Examples of questions are:






What color is your partners hair
Do they have any piercings?
What color are their shoes?
Are they wearing jewelry?
Is your partner taller than you are?
What color are their eyes?
After you have quizzed them, have them turn around and look at their partner to see how they
did. Ask them how this exercise could teach them skills to be safe. Reiterate the definition of
awareness and begin a discussion about awareness. Questions for discussion could be:



What body parts help people to be aware?
What is positive about being aware?
How does being aware help to keep you safe?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly sitting in
front of their partner, they are ready to start.
VARIATIONS: VARY THE DIFFICULTY OF THE QUESTIONS. VARY HOW PERSONAL
THE QUESTIONS ARE.
363
KEEP A SAFE DISTANCE (FIRST FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5
minutes
Goal: To know what a personal boundary is and how to recognize them
Skills Learned: how to set a personal boundary
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have students get into a circle.
Description: One student is in the middle of the circle. The leader chooses one student to
wald towards the person in the middle. The person in the center is instructed to turn towards
the approaching students, take a strong stance with arms out in front of their chest and say
STOP! If the approaching student gets closer than two arms distances, the student in the center
is instructed to take a step back and say STOP again. Let each student take a turn in the middle.
Questions for discussion could be:
 Are our personal boundaries the same for everybody?
 Is it sometimes difficult to tell someone to step away from you?
 How does this game help to teach safety skills?
 When might you have to use personal boundary setting skills?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly standing in
a circle with one person in the middle, they are ready to start.
Variations: Student in the center can start out with their eyes closed. When they sense the
person approaching, they open their eyes, take a strong stance and say STOP!
364
HEY YOU! (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5th grade
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To recognize the nonverbal cues of emotions
Skills Learned: Nonverbal communication, expression of different emotions, emotion
recognition
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Everyone is gathered in a contained or clearly marked area
Description: Students walk around the space acting out the emotion the leader names. The
leader may tell a story that helps children get into that emotion. When the leader yells, “Hey,
you!” all children turn and face her and say, still in that emotion, “What?” The leader should be
able to read that emotion on their bodies and hear it in their voice. Repeat with the same
emotion a second time this time instructing the children to be really dramatic when they are
acting out the emotion. Leader does several rounds of this using different emotions.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When all
children understand they are suppose to respond by acting out the emotion named.
Closing questions: What did you notice about each round? Did they feel/ look/ sound
different? What was your body as you expressed each emotion? Where were you looking?
What kind of facial expression did you have? Were you loud or soft spoken? Where you filling
up a lot of space or a small amount of space? What about your breath? Your hands? What are
the skills this game is trying to teach? Did you learn anything about yourself while playing this
game? Why is recognizing emotional cues so important?
Variation(s): Let students take turn being the leader, calling out the emotions first and then
“Hey You!” for everyone else to respond to.
365
EVERYONE’S IT (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Time of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To develop spatial awareness, awareness of each other
Skills Learned: Evasion, appropriate touch, spatial awareness
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Establish boundaries.
Description: The object is for students to tag each other on the back and keep a running count
of everyone they touch in three minutes without being tagged (of course this is impossible but it
encourages them to side-step and evade others). Have them award themselves a point for every
person they tag. No one is “it” and no one stops playing or “freezes” when tagged. Try to
confine all of the students to a relatively small area so that constant motion is encouraged.
Demonstrate how to tag someone using your fingertips and not pushing or hurting the other
person.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they can
show you how to tag correctly and tell you where the boundaries are located.
Variations: Have students tag each others’ shoulders, top of the head, knees, etc.
366
WORD CIRCLE (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10-15 minutes
Goal: To teach children how tone of voice and body language shape communication
Skills Learned: verbal communication, observation
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Children get into a circle and everyone gets to pick a fun word.
Description: Go around and have each person say what their word is going to be. Ask for a
volunteer to start with their word. They get to say their word any way they want, and then it
goes one by one around the circle with each person trying to copy the exact way the first person
said it. Every person in the circle gets to be a word leader. Give an example, using your word, of
how you can change a word by using tone, volume or inflection.
Demonstrations: Demonstrate how body language can also spice-up a word.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children are in a circle, know what word they are going to say, and know what direction the
circle is going. The children should be able to give examples of using the same words with
different tones, volumes and inflections.
Variation(s): The game can be enhanced by seeing how fast the group can go, while still
trying to copy exactly the way the leader said the word.
367
NOW! (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To learn to recognize small changes
Skills Learned: awareness, observation
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: One person is up in front of the group where they can be easily seen by everyone. This
game can be played inside or outside.
Description: The person who is “IT” starts to very slowly make some sort of movement. As
soon as the audience sees them move, they clap their hands once and yell “NOW”. Go through
several rounds with different students up front.
Questions for a discussion could be:





Why would I have you play a game like this?
How can observation skills help to keep you safe?
Were some movements easier to see than others?
Which movements were the easiest to see?
Why is it important to notice very small movements?
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When children are quietly grouped up
and one student is up front, the group is ready to start.
Variations: Students identify what part of the body the movement originates (ie. hand, foot,
leg etc…)
368
STOP! (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 3-5
Length of Activity? 10-15 minutes
Goal: To develop the ability to use the voice as a powerful tool in establishing boundaries.
Skills Learned: verbal communication, awareness
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: The game starts by everyone getting a partner and standing across the room from their
partner about twenty to thirty steps away.
Description: Explain that in this game we are practicing making our voices like a brick wall.
Ask what a brick wall is like. Give some examples of situations where people just don’t seem to
hear us unless we really speak up. Give an example of a really loud, clear STOP. Then explain
that one partner is going to walk up to the other partner. They can walk slow or fast or inbetween. The partner is going to wait until the person approaching them is two arms distances
away. When they get to that distance, they yell STOP! Explain that two arms distances is still a
“safe” distance because the person approaching can’t touch them. Each pair gets to go at their
own pace. After you have seen that one side has gotten to be a brick wall a half dozen or so
times, switch role and repeat the above steps.
Demonstrations: Have one student walk twenty steps away from you, turn around and walk
towards you. When they are two arms distances from you yell ”STOP!” Have the children
observe how you say STOP with your voice and body.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children can show you how they will say STOP and can show you how far two arms distance
away is from them. Also, make sure that the student walking towards their partner understands
that they have to respect their partner when they say STOP and stop regardless of how strongly
they say it.
Variation(s): Make a game of it! Have the students form a circle and ask one vounteer to be
in the middle. The volunteer will shut their eyes and stay standing in a specific area. The
teacher will then go around the circle and select one player to approach the person in the middle
and try to tag them. When the person hears the teacher’s voice yell ( NOW! / GO! / WATCH
OUT!) the person in the middle can open their eyes and locate the person approaching them
and yell STOP! The person approaching must stop immediately. If the approacher does not
reach the person in the middle then they return to their spot in the circle. The whole circle takes
one step forward and the game starts again with the same person in the middle. If the person
in the middle is tagged, they switch with the tagger and the circle returns to it’s original
diameter.
369
PARTNER TAG (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5-10 minutes
Goal: To develop children’s agility and evasion techniques
Objectives Learned: Learning how to change speeds, how to change directions, how to move
your body
Skills Learned: Agile body movements, sharpen reflexes, evasion techniques
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have children find a partner and select the playing area with set boundaries
Description: Have the partners decide who is it first or designate who is it by giving students
numbers. When you say go whoever is it will try to tag their partner. Go over proper ways of
tagging. When the partner is tagged they become it. Children can get very tired during this
game so it is a good idea to stop frequently and switch partners. Have a signal to begin the
game, to switch partners, and to end the game.
Demonstrations: This game is fairly simple so you may only need to go over how to tag
safely.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When children
can tell you the playing area, which partner is it, and safe ways to tag.
Variation(s): “Shadow Tag” is similar to this game in that the children partner up and chase
only their partner. However, in this game they don’t try to tag their partner but just stay as close
to them as possible without touching them, or “shadow” them. Then after 30 seconds the
teacher gives the signal to freeze and the partner who is it can take one step to tag their partner.
Then switch roles and play again. More steps can be added to make it harder/easier on the
partners.
370
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF… (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 15-25
What Age Group Is It For? 3-5grade
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To teach children how to make decision that can keep them safe.
Skills Learned: Problem solving, conceptual thinking
Equipment Needed: Any thing needed for a relay race
Set-Up: Set up a simple race with four teams. One person on each team will run at a time.
Description: You get your students lined up and tell the first four where and how they have to
do the race. For example, they may have to be hopping while singing or running while
continuously yelling. Say go. The first person back has to answer the question, “What would
you say if…” Questions can be easy like, “What would you say if your mom asked if you wanted
some ice cream?” Insist that they answer in a full sentence. One word answers are not
acceptable. After the first runner back has answered, ask anyone else if they have another
answer. Take two or three and then go to the next set of racers. After you have gone through the
whole group, the game is over.
Questions could be:
What would you say if …






A friend wants you to go to the store with her but you promised your mom you wouldn’t
leave the house?
Your stomach hurts and you want to go to the office but you have a substitute teacher
that is mean and won’t let you?
Some grown up on the street asked you to help them carry some things upstairs?
A new neighbor (a child) invited you over their house but you haven’t gotten permission
yet to go to their house from yours or their parents?
Your friend said if you didn’t give her your candy she would tell everyone a secret you
told her?
An older kid kept pushing you around on the way home from school?
Question for discussion:



Does it help to practice what you say?
Do you have any situations where you feel uncomfortable saying the truth to someone?
Why do you think learning to speak up in sticky situations could help you be safer?
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children can repeat to you where and how they are completing the race and what a complete
sentence is.
Variation(s): You can change the format of the race or add to the questions.
371
SPEAK UP, I CAN’T HEAR YOU (SECOND FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 3-5 grade
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To enhance verbal communication skills
Skills Learned: Assertive speech, awareness
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have children sit in a group as if they were going to see a performance. Have
scenarios prepared in advance.
Description: Theater games offer a fun way to play act challenging social situations and
develop new strategies for dealing with them. This game is a good one for practicing the basics
of assertive speech. Go over with the children some tactics for making themselves clear without
becoming overly aggressive. Take suggestions and be sure to offer basic tips like making good
eye contact, having body language be bold, using a powerful tone of voice and not being afraid to
repeat their message if it seems to not be heard the first time. Ask for a pair of volunteers to go
up and try it out one of the scenarios. Designate roles and say “Roll “em!” to start and “Cut!” to
stop the action. Less than one minute is usually enough time for each pair. Let as many pairs
try as want to or as you have time for.
Sample scenarios:



A friend’s mother offers you some chocolate chip cookies from her favorite recipe. You
hate chocolate chip cookies. What can you say?
A teacher tells you to go down the slide. You don’t want to because you are scared. What
can you cay?
A friend wants you to lend them your Barbie, bike, skateboard, or something. You don’t
want to. What can you say?
Questions for discussion:




Does this ever happen to you?
What does it feel like when someone is really pressuring you?
Do you ever do this to others?
What safety skills do you get from this game?
Demonstrations: Demonstrate with one of the students to show how sometimes people act as
if they cannot hear you, when they don’t really like what you are saying.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? Children who are
in the audience are sitting down quietly with their focus on the performers. The children
performing feel comfortable in their role and have an understanding of what they will say.
372
TOUCH BUT DON’T GET TOUCHED (THE THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 5 minutes
Goal: To learn evasion
Skills Learned: agility
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: You need to have enough open space for the group to move around freely
Description: Everyone in the group at the signal is going to try to touch others backs without
getting their own back touched. Tell students to touch lightly and be aware of their
surroundings. Have a clear signal for the group to freeze when the round is over.
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When students are clear on the game,
they are ready to start.
Variations: Have students touch each other on the knee, the top of the head, the elbow or the
feet without getting touched.
373
THE EAGLE AND THE MOUSE (THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 10-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10-15 minutes
Goal: To improve children’s awareness and reaction to unsafe situations
Skills Learned: awareness, agility
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have the children form a line. Away form the group, designate one area where the
eagle will stand and another area (about ten feet away) where the mouse will stand. You want to
make sure that no one will get caught on their first try.
Description: Ask the group for two volunteers, assign one to be the eagle and the other to be
the mouse. Tell the story that a mouse been wandering in a field when it began to smell the sent
of a eagle. It could not see the eagle (which it knew liked to hide in trees) but it knew it was near
by. So the mouse decided to remain very still so the eagle would not see it. The eagle knew the
mouse was very good at finding safe places to hide from eagles so it also remained very still
waiting for the right moment to pounce out of the tree and go after the mouse. So to begin the
game the eagle and the mouse will stand in their designated area and remain perfectly still. The
eagle will remain very still until it has decided to go after the mouse, but once it has moved even
a little bit the mouse would see it and could start running. The mouse cannot move until it sees
the eagle move, at which point the mouse will run to it’s safe place as fast as it can. The safe
place will be a spot about 10 feet behind where he mouse is standing. It works well if the teacher
asks as the safe place. Talk to the children about what their safe places are and have them
visualize it while they are playing. As the children get better at getting to their safe spot, shorten
the distance between the mouse and the eagle.
Discussion Questions:



Do you feel you have enough safe spots in you life?
How hard was it to get to your safe spot?
How could this game help you to be safe?
Demonstrate how to be both the mouse and the eagle with a volunteer. Show how the eagle
must remain still and go from standing still to full-on running after the mouse. Reemphasize
there is no faking. Show how the mouse must also remain still and react quickly to the
movement of the eagle.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the
children can repeat to you the duties of the mouse and the eagle and can define what a “safe
place” is to them.
Variation(s): “THE LIZARD AND THE FLY” is basically the same game but instead of the
children going from a standing position they must both start from the ground on their backs.
374
OBSTACLE COURSE (THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To teach agility
Skills Learned: agility, teamwork
Equipment Needed: jump ropes, cones, balls, chairs, chalk and other fun obstacle course
stuff
Set-Up: Set up the course before the class comes outside. Make it appropriately challenging for
each age group.
Description: Get the group into two teams and show them how to move through the course.
Emphasize getting through the course versus competing against the other team.
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When the group knows how to get
through each component of the course, they are ready to start.
Variations: Set up a course that students could work in partners and lead one of the pair
through the course blindfolded.
375
PARTNER ENGAGEMENT (THIRD FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? 4-5
Length of Activity? 15 minutes
Goal: To practice walking away from conflicts
Skills Learned: decision-making, conceptual thinking
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Everyone gets a partner. Leader should prepare scenarios in advance for students to
use that include guidelines for conduct during the role play.
Description: Students are in partners. One student picks a scenario from the leader. The
scenario defines a way to pick a fight with their partner. They begin to act out the scenario and
their partner practices responding non-aggressively. If they are unable to talk their partner
down, they are to take a deep breath and walk away. They can walk to a designated “safe” spot
in the room or field they are playing in. Demonstrate with two students who you think will be
able to do it well. Let students pick scenarios and begin. When all have walked away or deescalated the conflict, change roles and pick new scenarios. Emphasize following the guidelines
in the scenario cards so that things don’t get out of hand in real time!
Scenarios you could use are:





A friend is trying to get another friend to come to a party with them and the friend
doesn’t want to go.
A classmate is calling another classmate names.
A neighbor is talking disrespectfully about their partner’s family.
Someone is cutting in line.
Someone won’t pass the ball to another student.
How will you know if children are ready to start?: When students are in partners and
clear on the ground rules for the game, they are ready to start.
376
DRAGON STICK (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 5-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To teach children to respond with evasion techniques.
Skills Learned: evasion, awareness, body connection
Equipment Needed: Broom length padded stick/foam tube (swimming pool tubes are great)
Set-Up: Get your group into a circle. Children should have ample space between themselves
and the people next to them.
Description: Explain to the children that the stick is a dragon and they are in the dragon’s
lair. They are surrounded by mud and slime with lots of alligators in it, so they can’t run away.
You will swing the stick at different parts of their body. When you swing towards their legs, tell
them the dragon is going to eat their feet so they have to jump. When you swing towards their
head, tell them to duck. If you go towards their belly they have to side step and if you swing
straight down over their head they also side step. First go all the way around the circle with each
of the four options. After children are familiar with the evasive movement, mix it up. Change
what you aim for with the stick, what direction you are heading, and who you are swinging at.
Demonstrations: Show the group by using a volunteer how the different evasive movements
look. Emphasize the playful element that they are trying to avoid being eaten by the dragon.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When the group
is in a circle and can explain how to avoid the dragon and what the area is in which they can
maneuver, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): For older children who may not relate to dragons, the person leading the game
could be a Japanese Samurai or a ninja or some other appropriate character.
377
CIRCLE BLOCK (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5 grade
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize a threatening strike and respond appropriately
Skills Learned:
Hand/Eye coordination, awareness, body connection
Equipment Needed: Noodle (for swimming) or foam covered stick
Set-Up: Have the students form a circle standing with one leg behind the other, knees slightly
bent, arms up protecting their head. The instructor stands in the center.
Description: The instructor explains and demonstrates the blocking technique to the whole
group. Then the instructor goes around and strikes with the foam while each student practices
the block. After all students are comfortable with the block, the instructor can mix up the order
of the students they are striking.
Demonstrations: Demonstrate the simple boxers block to the sides of the head.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are all
standing in a circle, one leg behind the other, knees slightly bent and arms up in a box shape
protecting their head, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): After students are comfortable with and have practiced the boxers block, add an
over head block to the top of the head and a sweeping block to the mid-section. Demonstrate
mixing these blocks up and then follow the same format described above.
378
STOMP AND RUN (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize dangerous situations and respond appropriately
Skills Learned:
body connection, stomping, evasion, agility
Equipment Needed: none
Set-Up: Have the students spread out in a line standing with one leg behind the other, knees
slightly bent, arms up protecting their head. Use the lines of the kickball diamond or other prepainted lines on the playground.
Description: The instructor explains and demonstrates the stomp kick to the foot and has
students practice. On the instructor’s signal, (“Hey you!” or “Now!”) all students do three foot
stomps with a loud yell (“No!” “I don’t know you!”) then run to a second designated line (the
“safe place”). Repeat the exercise, having students return to original line.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are all
in a line with one leg behind the other, knees slightly bent, and arms up in a box shape
protecting their head, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): After students are comfortable with and have practiced the foot stomp,
incorporate blocks. You can specify instructions, for example, and say “Using 3 stomps, go!” or
“Using 2 overhead blocks and 2 stomps, go!”
379
CIRCLE GRAB (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize threatening grabs and respond appropriately
Skills Learned: specific grab releases, body connection
Equipment Needed:
none
Set-Up: Have the students stand in a circle.
Description: The instructor explains and demonstrates how to do a wrist release and has
several students practice the release in front of the group. Give clear instructions about how to
do a practice grab so the contact is not too aggressive. Also specify safety concerns with each
grab release. The instructor begins the circle grab by grabbing the left wrist of the student on his
right. The student does the wrist release and loudly says, “Let go.” Then that student grabs the
wrist of the student on his or her right. Continue around the circle until the grab returns to the
instructor.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are all
standing in a circle, students are ready to start.
Variation(s): After students have practiced and are comfortable with the wrist release, have
them practice other responses to being grabbed. Do the circle grab exercise as described above
and have students use only their voice (“You are grabbing my wrist. I don’t like that. Let go.”).
In response, grabber lets go. The third time around, students respond to the grab just using
strong body language (facing the grabber directly, making eye contact, giving a stern look…).
380
GRAB RELEASE RELAY (FOURTH FINGER OF SAFETY)
How Many Children Can Participate? 20-30
What Age Group Is It For? K-5
Length of Activity? 10 minutes
Goal: To be able to recognize threatening grabs and respond appropriately
Skills Learned:
grab releases, body connection, agility
Equipment Needed:
none
Set-Up: Have the students make two lines.
Description: The instructor reviews how to do the different grab releases that students have
learned. The instructor and another adult volunteer each stand facing their line. They each
grab their first person. That student does the grab release then immediately run to the
designated end point (“safe place”) and yell, “Go!” That signals the grabber to grab the next
person in line. The relay continues until everyone reaches the “safe place”.
How Will You Know Children Understand And Are Ready To Start? When they are
standing in two lines facing the endpoint on the other end of the field, they are ready to start.
Variation(s): Using a noodle (in the non-grabbing hand), add a strike for the student to block
after they have done the grab release. They then run to the cone as above. Have students add
using their voice as they are running.
*** For this game, ask an adult volunteer beforehand if they are willing to participate.
381
Book List
Emotions
Feelings
Today I Feel Silly
Mean Soup
How Are You Peeling? Foods with Emotions
Caps for Sale
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good
Very Bad Day
Aliki
Jamie Lee Curtis
Betsy Everitt
Saxton Freymann/ Joost Elffers
Esphyr Slobodkina
Judith Viorst
Communication
Communication
When Sophie Gets Angry, Really Really Angry
The Hating Book
Aliki
Molly Bang
Charlotte Zolotow
Dealing with Conflict
The Meanest Thing to Say
Noel the Coward
The Butter Battle Book
Smoky Night
Bill Cosby
Robert Kraus
Dr. Seuss
Eve Bunting (L.A. Riots)
Empathy
Hey, Little Ant
The Lorax
Phillip and Hannah Hoose
Dr. Seuss
(environmentalism)
Dealing with Hard Issues
One of the Problems of Everett Anderson
Stars in the Darkness
Lucille Clifton (dealing with abuse)
Barbara Joosse
(gang activity)
ETC.
My Map Book
The Big Box
Stone Soup
My Man Blue
Wilma Unlimited
Sara Fanelli
Toni Morrison/ Slade Morrison
Jon J. Muth (effect of working together towards a
shared goal)
Nikki Grimes(relationship between man and boy)
Kathleen Krull
382
Games Index – By Component
Ice Breakers - 4
Ball Toss Race - 5
Bob the Bunny - 6
Evolution - 7
Find Somebody Who - 8
Going on a Picnic - 9
Hi my name is - 10
If You Really Knew Me – 11
I Love My Neighbor - 12
Jump Whistle – 13 
Line of Silence - 14
Movement Name Game - 15
Name Touch – 16
Partner Introduction - 17
Pulse – 18 
Ro Sham Bo Rockstar – 19
Rumor – 20 
Sardines – 21
Shape Shifter – 22 
Splat! – 23
Superstar – 24
Tomato – 25 
Tornado – 26
When Nature Calls – 27 
Who Stole the Cookies? – 28
Readiness Games - 29
Alligator Swamp Tail - 30
Animal Farm - 31
Bird’s Nest - 32
Clap and Move - 33
Colors – 34
Continuous Relays - 35
Cookie Jar - 36
Cut the Cake - 37
Dance Freeze - 38
Dead Fish - 39
Four Corners - 40
Grocery Store - 41
Hop ‘n’Freeze - 42
Lava Game, The - 43
Leap Frog - 44
Mr. Fox - 45
My DVD Player - 46
Pony Express - 47
Poop Deck – 48
Push Catch - 49
Red Light, Green Light - 50
Ro Sham Bo Relay - 51
Run if… - 52
Running through the Forest - 53
Scramble - 54
Secret Agent - 55
Sequence Touch - 56
Sharks and Minnows - 57
Shipwreck - 58
Simon Says - 59
Sports Clubs – 60
Super Happy Fun Time - 61
Switch - 62
Tip It Over, Pick It Up - 63
Weathervane - 64
Where Are You? - 65
Whistle Mixer - 66
Zoo – 67
Tag - 68
7-Up Tag - 69
Animal Tag - 70
Arena/Flag Tag - 71
Band-Aid Tag - 72
Blob Tag - 73
Capture the Flag - 74
Cat and Mice - 75
Chair Tag - 76
Charades Tag - 77
Color Tag - 78
Cones Conquest - 79
Dinosaur Park - 93
Don’t Get Caught…Cookie - 80
Dragon Tail - 81 
Eagle and the Mouse - 82
Elbow Tag - 83
Everyone’s It - 84
Fake Out - 85
Fox Hunt - 86 
Freeze Tag - 87
Fruit Basket - 88 
Fun in a Box - 89
Heads or Tails - 90
Hoot Scoot Tag - 91
Joey Round up - 92 
Magic Tag - 94
Maze Tag - 95
Odds and Evens Tag - 96
Off the Ground Tag - 97
Shout Tag - 98
Statue Tag - 99
Toe Touch - 100 
Triangle Tag - 101
Watch Your Back - 102
Where Did It Go - 103
Where the Wild Things Are - 104
Who Let the Dogs Out - 105 
Cooperative Games - 106
All Tangled Up - 107
Ants on a Log - 108
Back-to-Back Get Up - 109
Birds of Prey - 110
Blindfold Building - 111
Bridgeball - 112 
Bubbles - 113
Castle Ball - 114 
Chair Game - 115
Charades Relay - 116
C’mon In and Sit Down - 117
Crooked Circle - 118
Disco Inferno - 119 
Dog Chases Its Tail - 120
Dress Me - 121
Fox and the Rabbit - 122
Giants, Wizards and Elves - 123
Hula Hoop Challenge - 124
Invent a Game - 125
Key Punch - 126
Knockdown - 127 
Knots on a Rope - 128
Magic Bubble Machine - 129
Maze Game - 130
One Fish, Two Fish - 131 
Over Under - 132
Picket Fences - 133
Pizza Delivery - 134
Quarter Football - 135
Relay Lock Race - 136
Run & Rally - 137
School Olympics - 138
Schoolyard - 140
School Yard Golf - 141
Shadow Shadow - 142
Squash Balls - 143
Stash It - 144 
Tally Ho - 145
The Wave - 146
Tic Tac Toe Toss - 147 
Toxic Waste Dump - 148
Traffic Jam - 149
Trust Falls - 150
Unfreeze-a-Friend - 151 
Wolves and Bunnies - 152
Playground Games and Sports - 153
4-Square - 154
Wall Ball - 160
Catch and Drop - 156
Drop and Hit 2-Square - 155
Team 2-Square - 157
4-Square Switch - 158
X-Square - 159
Dodgeball - 161
Bowling Dodgeball - 162
Circle Dodge Ball - 164
Cookie Jar Scramble - 180
Crossover Dodgeball - 172
Dodgeball Switch - 178
Gaga Ball - 165
Job Dodgeball - 176
Medic Dodge Ball - 173
Mix It Up - 177
Nation Ball - 174
Pin Down - 169
Race Track - 170
Rim Dodgeball - 171
Rollerball - 163
SPUD - 166
Snowball Alley - 167
Sprout-Ball - 175
Tunnel Ball - 168
Watch Out! - 179
Jump Rope - 181
Zero, 1 2 3 - 184
Snake - 182
Helicopter - 183
Jump Challenge - 185
Kickball - 186
Crazy Kickball - 187
Kick-Basket-Ball - 193
Kindergarten Kickball - 194
383
Mountain Ball - 191
Multi-Ball - 192
Over-Under Kickball - 190
Strategy Kickball - 188
Ultimate Kickball - 189
Steal the Bacon –Traditional - 195
Basketball - 196
3 Lines Basketball - 204
Around the World - 199
Basketball Bowling - 207
Basketball ‘Playworks’ - 198
Defensive Drills (Bball) - 206
Knock Out - 202
Medic Basketball - 203
Pass and Move - 205
Power - 197
Steal the Bacon-Bball - 200
Tap Ball - 208 
Twenty-One - 201
Soccer - 209
Crab Soccer - 216
Crossfire Soccer - 217
Keep Away Soccer - 210
Knock-Down Soccer - 214
Monkey Soccer - 215
Soccer 4-Square - 211
Steal the Bacon - Soccer - 213
Wide Goal Soccer - 212
Softball / Baseball - 223
Crazy Softball - 224
Pickle - 226
Roller Baseball - 228
Tee Ball - 225
Tennis Baseball - 227
Wall Baseball - 229
Volleyball - 218
Booty Ball - 219
Catch and Pass Volleyball - 221
Clean Your Room - 220
4-Square Volleyball - 222
Flag Football - 230
Arena Tag - 232
Flag Fake Out - 233
Interception - 236
Trivia Football - 234
Twenty-One Football - 231
Ultimate Football - 235
Core Games Modifications - 237
FitKid Health and Fitness - 238
Chest and Arm Strengthening
Stations - 246
Flexibility Stations - 242
Leg Lifts for the Abs - 245
Minute Masters - 239
Pace Yourself - 241
Partner Crunches - 244
Whistle Walk Run - 240
Inside Games & Minute
Moves - 248
Animals Two by Two - 249
Boom-Sha-Boom - 250
Boppity Bop Bop Bop - 251
Bull Frog Game - 252
Bumpity, Bump, Bump - 253
Cha Cha Slide - 254
Chair Aerobics - 255
Chuck Race - 256
Circle Animals - 257
Concentration Crunch - 258
Dance Move - 259
Detective - 260
Duck, Duck, Goose - 261
Ducks Fly - 262
Heads Up 7-Up - 263
Hokey Pokey Aerobics - 264
Hot Potato - 265
Indoor Marco Polo - 266
Instant ID - 267
Look Up - 268
Magic Ball - 269
Mouse Trap - 270
Musical Chairs - 271
Mystery Creature - 272
Oh the Place You’ll Go! - 273
One Word - 274
Partner to Partner - 275
Phrase Game - 276
Real Close - 277
Recycle Ball - 278
Rhythm Detectives - 279
Safari - 280
Sandman - 281
Silent Ball - 282
Silent Ball at the Museum - 283
Smile If You Love Me - 284
Sun Monarch - 285
Surfing Warm-up - 286
The Bone - 287
This is a … - 288
This is My Nose - 289
Trash Can Basketball - 290
Trivia Tic-Tac-Toe - 291
Up Down Stop Go - 292
What Are You Doing? - 293
What Changed? - 294
Wink-Ums - 295
Wonderball - 296
You Can, Two Can Work Out - 297
Zip Zap Pop - 298
Peace Promotion Curriculum - 299
384
Games Index – Alphabetically
3 Lines Basketball – 204
4-Square - 154
4-Square Switch - 158
4-Square Volleyball – 222
All Tangled Up – 107
Alligator Swamp Tail - 30
Animal Farm – 31
Animal Tag - 70
Animals Two by Two – 249
Ants on a Log – 108
Arena Tag – 232
Arena/Flag Tag - 71
Around the World - 199
Back-to-Back Get Up – 109
Ball Toss Race – 5
Band-Aid Tag – 72
Basketball – 196
Basketball Bowling - 207
Basketball ‘Playworks’ - 198
Bird’s Nest – 32
Birds of Prey – 110
Blindfold Building – 111
Blob Tag – 73
Bob the Bunny – 6
Boom-Sha-Boom - 250
Booty Ball - 219
Boppity Bop Bop Bop - 251
Bowling Dodgeball – 162
Bridgeball – 112 
Bubbles – 113
Bull Frog Game – 252
Bumpity, Bump, Bump – 253
C’mon In and Sit Down – 117
Capture the Flag – 74
Castle Ball – 114 
Cat and Mice – 75
Catch and Drop – 156
Catch and Pass Volleyball – 221
Cha Cha Slide – 254
Chair Aerobics – 255
Chair Game - 115
Chair Tag – 76
Charades Relay – 116
Charades Tag – 77
Chest /Arm Strengthening - 246
Chuck Race - 256
Circle Animals – 257
Circle Dodge Ball – 164
Clap and Move – 33
Clean Your Room – 33
Color Tag – 78
Colors – 34
Concentration Crunch – 258
Cones Conquest - 79
Continuous Relays - 35
Cookie Jar – 36
Cookie Jar Scramble – 180
Crab Soccer – 216
Crazy Kickball – 187
Crazy Softball – 224
Crooked Circle – 118
Crossfire Soccer – 217
Crossover Dodgeball - 172
Cut the Cake – 37
Dance Freeze – 38
Dance Move - 259
Dead Fish – 39
Defensive Drills (Bball) - 206
Detective – 260
Dinosaur Park - 93
Disco Inferno – 119 
Dodgeball – 161
Dodgeball Switch – 178
Dog Chases Its Tail – 120
Don’t Get Caught.. Cookie - 80
Dragon Tail - 81 
Dress Me - 121
Drop and Hit 2-Square – 155
Duck, Duck, Goose – 261
Ducks Fly – 262
Eagle and the Mouse - 82
Elbow Tag – 83
Everyone’s It – 84
Evolution – 7
Fake Out – 85
Find Somebody Who – 8
Flag Fake Out – 233
Flag Football – 230
Flexibility Stations – 242
Four Corners – 40
Fox and the Rabbit - 122
Fox Hunt – 86 
Freeze Tag – 87
Fruit Basket – 88 
Fun in a Box - 89
Gaga Ball – 165
Giants, Wizards and Elves – 123
Going on a Picnic – 9
Grocery Store – 41
Heads or Tails - 90
Heads Up 7-Up – 263
Helicopter – 183
Hi my name is – 10
Hokey Pokey Aerobics – 264
Hoot Scoot Tag – 91
Hop ‘n Freeze – 42
Hot Potato – 265
Hula Hoop Challenge – 124
I Love My Neighbor… - 12
If You Really Knew Me – 11
Indoor Marco Polo – 266
Instant ID – 267
Interception - 236
Invent a Game – 125
Job Dodgeball – 176
Joey Round up – 92 
Jump Challenge - 185
Jump Rope – 181
Jump Whistle – 13 
Keep Away Soccer – 210
Key Punch - 126
Kickball – 186
Kick-Basket-Ball -193
Kindergarten Kickball – 194
Knock Out – 202
Knockdown – 127 
Knock-Down Soccer – 214
Knots on a Rope – 128
Lava Game, The – 43
Leap Frog – 44
Leg Lifts for the Abs – 245
Line of Silence – 14
Look Up – 268
Magic Ball - 269
Magic Bubble Machine – 129
Magic Tag – 94
Maze Game - 130
Maze Tag – 95
Medic Basketball - 203
Medic Dodge Ball – 173
Minute Masters – 239
Mix It Up – 177
Monkey Soccer – 215
Mountain Ball -191
Mouse Trap – 270
Movement Name Game – 15
Mr. Fox – 45
Multi-Ball – 192
385
Musical Chairs – 271
Mystery Creature - 272
My DVD Player – 46
Name Touch – 16
Nation Ball – 174
Odds and Evens Tag - 96
Off the Ground Tag – 97
Oh, the Place You’ll Go! - 273
One Fish, Two Fish – 131 
One Word - 274
Over Under - 132
Over-Under Kickball – 190
Pace Yourself – 241
Partner Crunches – 244
Partner Introduction – 17
Partner to Partner – 275
Pass and Move – 205
Phrase Game – 276
Picket Fences - 133
Pickle – 226
Pin Down – 169
Pizza Delivery – 134
Pony Express – 47
Poop Deck – 48
Power – 197
Pulse – 18 
Push Catch – 49
Quarter Football – 135
Race Track – 170
Real Close – 277
Recycle Ball - 278
Red Light, Green Light – 50
Rhythm Detectives – 279
Rim Dodgeball - 171
Ro Sham Bo Relay – 51
Ro Sham Bo Rockstar – 19
Roller Baseball – 228
Rollerball – 163
Rumor – 20 
Run & Rally - 137
Run if… - 52
Running through the Forest - 53
Safari – 280
Sandman – 281
Sardines – 21
Schoolyard – 140
School Olympics – 138
School Yard Golf – 141
Scramble – 54
Secret Agent – 55
Sequence Touch – 56
Shadow Shadow – 142
Shape Shifter – 22 
Sharks and Minnows – 57
Shipwreck – 58
Shout Tag – 98
Silent Ball – 282
Silent Ball at the Museum – 283
Simon Says – 59
Smile If You Love Me - 284
Snake – 182
Snowball Alley - 167
Soccer – 209
Soccer 4-Square – 211
Softball / Baseball – 223
Splat! – 23
Sports Clubs - 60
Sprout-Ball – 175
SPUD – 166
Squash Balls – 143
Stash It – 144 
Statue Tag – 99
Steal the Bacon Traditional - 195
Steal the Bacon - Soccer- 213
Steal the Bacon - Bball – 200
Strategy Kickball- 188
Sun Monarch – 285
Superstar – 24
Super Happy Fun Time – 61
Surfing Warm-up – 286
Switch – 62
Tally Ho – 145
Tap Ball – 208 
Team 2-Square – 157
Tee Ball – 225
Tennis Baseball – 227
The Bone – 287
This is a … - 288
This is My Nose – 289
Tic Tac Toe Toss – 147 
Tip It Over, Pick It Up – 63
Toe Touch – 100 
Tomato – 25 
Tornado – 26
Toxic Waste Dump – 148
Traffic Jam – 149
Trash Can Basketball - 290
Triangle Tag – 101
Trivia Football – 234
Trivia Tic-Tac-Toe - 291
Trust Falls – 150
Tunnel Ball – 168
Twenty-One – 201
Twenty-One Football – 231
Ultimate Football – 235
Ultimate Kickball – 189
Unfreeze-a-Friend – 151 
Up Down Stop Go – 292
Volleyball – 218
Wall Ball – 160
Wall Baseball – 229
Watch Out! – 179
Watch Your Back – 102
Wave, The – 146
Weathervane – 64
What Are You Doing? - 293
What Changed? – 294
When Nature Calls – 27 
Where Are You? – 65
Where Did It Go – 103
Where the Wild Things Are- 104
Whistle Mixer – 66
Whistle Walk Run – 240
Wide Goal Soccer – 212
Wink’ums – 295
Who Let the Dogs Out – 105 
Who Stole the Cookies – 28
Wolves and Bunnies – 152
Wonderball – 296
X-Square – 159
You Can 2 Can Work Out – 297
Zero, 1 2 3 - 184
Zip Zap Pop – 298
Zoo – 67
386
386

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